Each generation has endured major and catastrophic events that have changed lives and punctuated the decades. Each one is ‘new’ and shocking at the time – airplane hijackings in the 1980s were new; flying passenger airplanes into buildings in 2001 was new; Foot and Mouth disease was new (ish). H1N1, SARS and the spread of Ebola in recent years were new – or seemed new because we were experiencing them for the first time, maybe even first-hand. Each of those events changed the way we behaved, operated and travelled. Each challenged us to re-evaluate our mindset and values.
The extent, speed and reach of this pandemic is new to our generation. We’re astonished that something can take away – almost overnight – our freedom to move around, our social habits and connections with our various circles of like-minded people (we each have separate or overlapping tribes in family, friends, locations, business, networking and online). Recreation, the joy of travel, normal healthcare interventions/treatment/screening and our businesses are curtailed or on hold. Some temporarily we hope, some permanently we fear.
This is not combative war, bombs, guns, terrorist attack or nuclear accident. It’s not a famine or a meteor strike. These are all the things we periodically dread and work hard to avoid.
This teeny tiny virus has struck instead at the heart of our ability to show love to those we love, to comfort each other by our very presence and to have physical contact and bonding which is so important to our well-being (see last week’s guide) and therefore is a real blow to everything that we hold dear.
However, we – in fact – have the upper hand.
The virus needs to move from host to host quite quickly to survive. It has no defence against prolonged cold outside the human body, or when its host is not near another host. It can’t plan ahead. It doesn’t have a back-up cavalry of colleagues riding in to save the day when it is dying. This is where we, the evolved species with legs, thinking brains and the benefit of collaboration and teamwork on a global scale have the upper hand.
These are the reasons we have survived other seemingly insurmountable challenges over the centuries. We surmount them with our innovation, our ability to solve problems, our ability to set future goals and reach them. Our ability to work together.
This is what makes us resilient, individually and as a group.
The virus doesn’t experience or give love. The empty streets and silent businesses are a powerful display of our depth of love for each other.
This is what makes us strong, individually and as a group.
The vast majority of people on this planet share common values around the importance of life, protecting the vulnerable and equity of healthcare.
This is what fuels us, individually and as a group.
7.5 billion people on this team, working together? We soooo have the upper hand.
Until next week, stay home, stay safe, stay strong.
P.S. Check the link below which outlines the range of options I have put in place to make coaching and resilience development as accessible as possible for all and to suit all budgets.
Image credit: Morgan Petroski via Unsplash