16 May Returning to “Normal”
What does this concept mean to you?
As covid-19 quarantine procedures begin to cease, we’ll all eventually find ourselves easing back into our old routines. But is that really what’s best? Furthermore is that even possible?
Throughout the many phases of this pandemic, we witnessed a multitude of ‘silver lingings’ that prevailed amid adversity. We were forced to embrace new means of social connectedness. Companies were challenged to take on more Corporate Social Responsibility. We reimagined the possibility for online learning and corporate meetings and remote work in general. And one of my personal favourites, we witnessed in real time the Earth miraculously repairing herself after just a few short weeks of a major shift in human behaviour.
We saw crystal clear waters in the usually murky canals that wind through Venice, a hole in the ozone layer above the Artic healing itself, empty roads and smog free skies in major cities like Beijing, Delhi, and Los Angeles. These are facets of Earth that most of us have never witnessed in our lifetimes.
Now, I understand deeply that these ‘silver lingings’ came at a price. We lost upwards of 300 thousand people worldwide – a number that still contines to grow.
With that said, I can empathize with the fact that this is not an appropriate time to be celebrating the “successes” we’ve procured. But what I do think is appropriate is to conceptualize the changes in human behaviour and human interaction with the environment and learn from this bizarre phase that we all experienced as one.
Many people died, many businesses declared banktruptcy, and many indiviauals and familes will continue to experience financial harships due to the unexpected nature of these events. Which is why I feel strongly that these struggles can not have been for nothing. At the very least we MUST use these past few weeks and months as an example of how we could be living. As an opportunity to critically assess the difference between our ‘wants’ and our ‘needs’.
Now more than ever we should be able to decipher between what counts as essential travel, and essential consumption.
Now more than ever we should see the value in growing our own food, and shopping local. Supporting our neighbours and lowering the carbon emmissions required to get that one item you thought you NEEDED right to your doorstep.
I’ll admit that I can be irritatingly optimistic at times. It’s probably one of my favourite ‘flaws’ about myself. But I encourage you to try this perspective on for size. Accept that we play a larger role in the way this world spins than we once believed, and make choices based on that.
This is our chance to forge a different path for ourselves. Are you going to take it?