A chance to reflect, adapt and decide what we want the future to look like…
Mother nature is a powerful force, and one that has, albeit in horrendous circumstances, made us take time out to reflect, to consider the past, to adapt to the now and hopefully to decide on a ‘new normal’.
A changed world
Whilst the governments, scientists and advisers make the larger, more immediate decisions, this is a time for us to all make smaller more personal decisions about how we come out of this crisis. During an emotional and extremely inspiring conversation my wonderful friend Remi yesterday, one which took many unexpected but hugely needed twists and turns, one thing really stuck with me after; our shared and unwavering belief that the world really has changed, and ‘returning to normal’ will not be a thing. It is now our collective responsibility to make a ‘new normal’ and where possible a ‘better normal’ for us, our families and the generations to follow.
Adapting to the new world
This also led our conversation into a discussion on how to adapt, be that adapting ourselves, our relationships, our businesses or just our way of life. After a couple of hours pondering this, I joined a webinar last night hosted by The Information on the topic of ‘The Future of Ride-Hailing’ in their covid-19 Tech Impact Briefing series. We heard some incredible examples of the way in which organisations have adapted, not just to help themselves but more importantly to help the communities within which they operate. Yes, most of the represented companies on the webinar had swiftly adapted to food delivery, but in such a short space of time they had also adapted their businesses to ensure key workers could get to work in cities who have closed their public transport networks, they had set up delivery support for the elderly, medical advice lines, a variety of B2B services and advice, and in some cases changed the entire food supply chain of cities!
A time for reflection
It got me thinking, in no way can we or should we underestimate this virus or the impact it will have on so many families, communities, businesses and entire economies, but whilst stuck in our respective houses with a lot of time for meditation, reflection and deep thought, we must consider the best way to get out of this devastating situation as soon as possible.
Aside from following government guidelines, I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I do feel an overwhelming sense that the need to adapt, to embrace change and to support each other will be key. To be connected when we are unable to physically connect and to continue to regain a sense of community, which in some parts has been long forgotten. I think I’m safe in saying I’m not the only one who is struggling with not being able to see friends and family, and in fact, for me this has been the hardest thing by far. It’s crucial to not forget about this, to make sure that you don’t become ‘too busy’ and you remember what is truly important to you when things are stripped back, and your freedom is reduced.
Positivity and the little things
I wrote a blog last week on staying positive during these times, and since then I have been trying to stay true to this (I have stumbled a couple of times, but picked myself back up), and have tried to stay more present and notice the many acts of kindness, community and positivity around me. It made me stop and think about the little things a bit more; on Thursday I hosted a socially distanced gin and tonic for my neighbours 72nd birthday in my garden, don’t get me wrong, it isn’t the first drink we have had in the garden, but I imagine in the normal pace of life, I would likely not have known it was his birthday, and would’ve missed the chance to talk, listen to his fascinating stories and enjoy the beautiful clear skies we are seeing, even at 4 meters apart!
During the ‘party’ we also stood and clapped for over 5 minutes for the amazing work being done by the NHS and carers, whilst hearing car horns, the rubber duck boat, drums, pots and pans and hundreds of other noises signalling a community united in supporting those risking their lives to look after the country. I don’t know exactly why but I don’t think I’m alone in feeling a real sense of hope, positivity and community during that clap, and I would love to think we won’t lose them when we come out of the other side.
Lastly, I have been considering the impact on the planet; we all knew 2020 would be a huge year when it comes to tackling climate change, but as much as none of us could’ve predicted this pandemic, we can choose to learn from it. To control the spread of covid-19 we have grounded planes, reduced transport, closed borders and introduced social distancing. In order to reduce and hopefully at some point eliminate climate change, we need to back clean technologies, reduce pollution and fundamentally change our behaviour. We all thought the last bit would take time, but what this has proven is that we can change, we can adapt and we can work as one, but that is the key, society needs to do this together and not alone, we are collectively responsible for the future of the planet and we need to ensure we don’t forget this until it’s too late. Let’s take our positivity, our new found respect for community and work together to ensure the future is cleaner, greener and brighter for all of us.
Time to think
Although there seems to be little differentiation between ‘the week’ and ‘the weekend’ at the moment, given that we now have a 4 day ‘weekend’ I would ask one thing of all of you this weekend. To take 10 minutes to breathe, meditate, reflect, sit in quiet, whatever feels right for you, and to consider the little things, be thankful for the support of others, community, consider the things you can change and the future we and the planet deserve.