COVID-19 brought the world to a screeching halt. While governments scrambled to get a hold on the situation as it happened, and epidemiologists mobilised their trackers and tracers to collect the data and racked their brains to understand the spread of the virus, the global economy ground to an abrupt halt. And so did we.
Locked up in our houses watching the world and these crazy events unfolding, the dust cloud of busy-ness that usually surrounds us settled and we started seeing things from a different perspective. And in some ways, we started seeing the truth in a whole new light.
I’ve heard the word ‘apocalypse’ used many times over the last few of months and, while it sometimes feels like the world is ending (and it just might be) it may not be such a bad thing after all.
As it turns out, the word “apocalypse” actually comes from the Greek word meaning to uncover, to reveal. And so, it is.
A revelation uncovering the truths about our society, our economy and our lives that we all would probably not rather face. Not because we are necessarily bad people, but probably more because we are all too wrapped up in our frantic and important lives to deal with truths – which, as we know, take a lot of will, especially that of our leaders.
What I’ve learnt from the apocalypse
1. We are better together
I am astounded by how much we have managed to achieve as a society, all owing to an external threat. I’m reminded of Pacific Rim when the Kaiju start rising from the deep and the world starts working together to build big robots to fight them off. It’s like that. Government and private business are collaborating in new ways to come up with amazing and impactful solutions. Collaboration is everything in the new world order. Consider your competitor as your collaborator or your foe as your best friend and see how that shift can change the game for you and your business.
2. We can trust each other
Businesses have been forced into realising that their employees are grown-ups, and they can be trusted (astounding!). And actually, if you give people more credit and a little bit of room to manoeuvre, they will often surprise you. Take a look at people who are excelling under these exceptional circumstances and consider allowing them a bit more freedom on the flipside. Your business’s overall productivity level will probably benefit from it.
3. We need to treat each other better
It’s easy to forget about others in your personal dust cloud, but it’s difficult to sit back and see your fellow human struggle to feed their children. Magically, and all of a sudden, there is enough money in the system to feed people, house them and offer them healthcare, what we lack ordinarily is the political will to do so. How can we take away these civil rights when we finally hit Level 1 again? I don’t think we can, and I don’t think we should. We need to stand together as a society and demand the upliftment of our society through fairer apportioning of our resources.
4. We need to treat our world better
We haven’tbeen doing such a great job as the custodians of this planet so it’s only fair that Mother Nature in all her mighty glory should set out to level the score. The quiet has reminded me how powerful and wild and how unpredictable and amazing nature really is, and I love it. We need to stop being so stupid and stop destroying our home.
5. Oh, and about those banks
Banks are a bunch of bandits. Even in the worst of times, they will seek to exploit you to enrich themselves. Bandits. Intelligent bandits with clever, careful marketing, but bandits nonetheless. Try as much as you can to free yourselves from their bondage. Barter with your community. Grow your own foods, if you can. Make things. We have enough stuff. Maybe the way of lives that we are trying to afford is not really what’s going to make us happy.
Everything is going to be okay (who else remembers the sticker?), but not without working together and trying harder. This thing is so much bigger than all of us, but we are so much more powerful together. Although you’re not in control you can still make a difference in your home, your business and your community. The time has come to think small, and Surrender.
For more about how the apocalypse is affecting your communication, read Martin’s article here.