What Do We Value?
Valuing who you and others are, is a sound strategy for life and business.
“Sometimes it’s easy to forget the spirit that lives within/
Because you’re busy fighting for the human being.”
Sampa The Great, Don’t Give Up
In times of crisis, we are able to gain new perspectives by stepping back and wondering: what are we doing? There have been heartening, and smart, examples of companies pivoting to different ways to do business, or even create a philanthropic aspect to their retail businesses, like LMVH and Zara have done by supporting public health and medical needs with essential materials needed for tackling this global pandemic we are all in. Scanning social media, people are coming together in sentiment and in real time. ‘Don’t give up’ is the message in our blood as people, at basic biological and psychological levels.
As ever, there will be people who take advantage of a bad situation, and panicky people might push your buttons. Because you’re also looking for ways to fit this into the structures of your given life, and it really doesn’t fit quickly or well. But here we are. And where can we go but forward?
The forward now feels less like an economic imperative than a situation where people are forced to face the reality that we don’t actually run the world. An old, cynical friend used to say to me, “the human race will never succeed, the worst species thinks it’s the best.” That may very well be true. It’s a serious point to reflect on, because if there was ever a time for a world consciousness to emerge, where we value all people more than the stock markets or our material wealth, it’s now. No one wants to give up what their recent normal has been, and no one wants to go bankrupt because of something outside of their power. There is no doubt the economics of this virus are dire. That can’t be denied, and apparently can’t be totally avoided. But we will find our way out of it much sooner through cooperation, which is a big lesson happening right before our eyes. People are helping people. Companies with resources are helping. Perhaps more billionaires could come forward with cash to help, but that’s theirs to live with. What I see across the digital universe of conversations and suggestions is largely very positive, with people not only accepting that a new normal requires different approaches, but with the dawning thought that new ways of doing things maybe isn’t such a bad idea, either. This is a time for our hearts to go out to each other, make this situation whole as fast as possible together, and not lose the calculus when this is past that we need to continue the inner and outer dialogues now going on for finding a way to live that’s better than the way it was before.
Many, many people are and are going to lose their jobs. Companies are and will be cutting costs, there will be a strong contraction. It’s what comes out of the other side of this that really matters, to me, as a business owner and as a person with a family. I was clear before what was important to me. This situation has just underlined it in bold. But instead of just trying to protect what we have, we can also now with the clarity of a crisis, also put our minds towards what we want to fight for and for why, and make those our most important considerations in business and in our personal lives. Maybe you’re there already, but so many people aren’t. If ecology is also one of the reasons we see more of these epidemics and pandemics, we really need to be serious about saving and rejuvenating the planet, our home, past the daily headlines that amount to little. Now that we are forced by nature to fight for lives, maybe it’s a time to look inward and understand home is not only where we are but it’s a place we share across a connected web of human history we don’t even fully understand. The nature of this crisis involves us and our way of living, our ways of doing things, and what we care and do not care about. It’s our opportunity to re-envision how we live and carry our lives for the sake of all humanity in the home we share across borders, across geographies, and across the distances.
The good will do the best they can. The worst will do the worst they can. Here’s hoping more of the good comes to light and into the lives of all of us now.
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