Lessons From The Pandemic

Greetings Everyone,

As we rollover into June 2020, life seems to be picking up again around the country. Businesses of all kinds are back, although on a very restricted basis, and most have greatly ramped up their safety measures. I am hopeful that we can figure out both – conducting business and staying safe – rather than conceding to the status quo of one or the other.

And as most of you realize, the minute that state and business re-opening plans were announced, along came the onslaught of news reports about the immediate increased number of cases of COVID-19, and the inevitable second wave of the virus due to occur – most likely as a result of the re-openings. Ping/Pong, Yin/Yang, She said/He said, Back/Forth. I guess part of freedom is the opportunity to present contrary or opposing viewpoints.

So, this will not be a line in the sand about which sides of the conflicts are correct. You can save that for your impassioned, yet socially distant happy hour debates. Here is what I want you think about. What have you learned over the past few months?

And I challenge you to go deeper than:

  • Well, I guess people can work at home after all or
  • Pandemics sure put a strain on the supply of toilet paper

No, what you have really learned? Because with as dramatic of a disruption that this has been to life as we know it, there have been ample opportunities for learning. So, I invite you to think about this question. In fact, if you had the opportunity to contribute to the book entitled, Most Important Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, what would be your most insightful contribution?

Here are some lessons you too may have embraced.

Kindness cannot be quarantined. From financially strapped people still donating their stimulus checks for feed others, to people just reaching out to check in on others – there has been a lot of kindness. And good news. You do not have to worry about running out. You have an unlimited reservoir of kindness to draw from, even when there is no crisis.

A crisis such as this points out the differences between those who are demonstrating leadership, and those who are simply occupying positions of leadership. Position is for the most part irrelevant.

Everyone, including the best of leaders make mistakes. Leading others during a situation like COVID-19 is much more like navigating through one mistake after another, than smooth sailing through perfect decisions. So, there is no need to waste time confessing other peoples’ sins or publicizing their missteps.

Wrong decisions and bad decisions are not the same thing. In spite of due diligence with facts, figures, trends and smart analysis, some decisions will still be wrong. Ignoring facts, disregarding intelligent perspectives, and blowing off potential consequences lead to bad decisions.

There is no teacher’s guide with all the right answers. Yet, people of all kinds rise up in extraordinary ways to help find the right answers.

The changes resulting from a crisis can in fact be inspiring in some situations. From closed restaurants serving meals for people in need to distilleries switching from booze to hand sanitizers, there is joy in observing the flourishing of the creative spirit to do good for others.

Finally, maybe we can all embrace the lesson to let go of some of our pigeon-holing judgments of others, based on their job title or occupation. Has your opinion changed about the value of the “shelf-stocker” at your local grocer, or the furloughed department store cashier, who is now leading a volunteer effort to provide food for disadvantaged families? There are more potential heroes around you, than you can possibly imagine.

Take care of yourself, and those close to you who are less blessed at the moment. Your one small act of kindness or assistance may not make an impact on the entire world, but it will sure make a profound difference in the life of the person you helped.

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