We’ve all read the estimations of economists and governments, both the sanguine and the dramatic. The potential loss of life, loss of spirit, loss to our economies, businesses and bank accounts. But before we get scared or even paranoid about the future, let’s take a moment to think. Is the future post-corona so dark and gloomy as it seems? As our leaders and media would have us believe? In my opinion the light at the end of the tunnel has never been brighter!
Commentators have already described Corona as a once in a lifetime event. Several standard deviations from any norm. Could it be that in such rarity, rather than breeding greater fear, greater narcissism and greater isolation, we may truly have an extraordinary opportunity to transform our global society and truly change our world for the better. Yes, an admission: I’m an Aquarian by birth, and despite my left brain, logical, male influences, am often accused of being overly optimistic. Yet I firmly believe we do have such an opportunity ahead of us. A chance to set aside our unhelpful behaviours of the past, ride through a period of deep uncertainty, and escape the other side to embrace positive transformation. And I mean this for us as a global society as much as for our communities and as individuals. We have this opportunity so, let us not squander it.
Let me explain more
In times of significant crisis, whether that be personal - like the loss of a loved one - or more global – like war or economic upheaval –these are the times we see often hidden parts of our true selves. We experience elements of us we may never have experienced before. And we may never see again. Sometimes our reactions, responses, sometimes our behaviours may be reflected in our view of others. And in experiencing these elements of ourselves, of our human experience, here we are afforded the opportunity of deep transformation.
Many have already commented that ‘decisions that would have taken years have been effected overnight,’ behaviours that have taken decades to nurture overturned in an instant. On the one hand, yes, people in many ways reverting to survival or basic behaviours. But on the other hand, now having far greater understanding of that choice, which hitherto in human history may only have been mindless.
I believe that in this particular moment of fear, vulnerability and insecurity we are already, consciously or unconsciously, revaluating how we have lived our lives so far, what we have valued, what was our purpose. And simply applying that to the future.
Here are some places that I believe our increased awareness will certainly change for the better.
1. Emotional Healing
Being in self-isolation or quarantine awkwardly brings up the dirt we’ve been avoiding way too long! It's a little like a meditation retreat – there’s just nowhere left to hide! Latent anxiety, unresolved trauma, depression or any other mental health issues will come closer to the surface now and therefore closer to finally being addressed. We’ll have no choice! Embrace your spiritual and mental healing and make sure you seek appropriate help required to leave your long-life baggage behind.
As I’ve explained before, there are some timing issues around this point. I think the immediate effect of Corona will be more pressure on our mental health and on our overall systems. But with time I believe this increased awareness will improve our mental toughness for the good.
I like the post I saw on social media: ‘When you can’t go outside, go inside’
2. Compact Consumption
Modern consumption is one of man’s largest plagues. We consume an unprecedented amount and still leave a preposterous proportion to waste. When was the last time you repaired something broken? Or how much food did you throw away last week? The equation simply doesn’t work and is putting our planet under remarkable strain.
I’m not here to lecture. I’m just rather blindly enthusiastic about how bright our new society can be! During this lockdown, our access to goods – even basic ones – has been severely limited. We’ve been unable to pop out to the shops when we forgot the red pepper in the recipe. And if we have been fortunate enough to go for groceries, it's like a post-apocalyptic experience.
Limited supplies and access to supplies will not only have a huge impact on real consumption. When the situation returns to normal – and it will – we’ll be less intoxicated by the urge of the latest iPhone or the same shirt in 4 different shades of green. But the broader and more exciting impact will be on our unconscious mindset. We have experienced that need, that shortage, or lack, but we gotten through it. And with that, we will be positive and more trusting of our world in the future.
3. The Environment
Hard to mention consumption without reference to the environment, but I’ll keep it brief. Already we’ve seen reports of how the decrease in global activity is positively impacting our globe. Reduced CO2 emissions, reduced pollution, a small positive break for biodiversity.
Who truthfully could have expected 3 months ago a situation where anyone around the world would modestly give up their right to fly around it? How quickly we have changed. Serving in this case as an example that governments can be bolder in their policies to protect our species going forward.
4. Radiant Relationships
Our relationships have become strained in a most ironic way. We may be armed with the greatest technological power ever known to man, yet we’re all so miserable and self-centred that we keep obstruct our mind, keeping busy doing our things. Maybe exercise, maybe alcohol, maybe work. We prefer to watch a movie rather than calling or seeing a friend. And we head to the newest restaurant in town with some almost-strangers instead of spending time with our family.
Guess what? Being forced for so long to spend time alone, or with just the few people that live with us, will strengthen the sincere relationships we have in our lives and eliminate the superficial ones.
Before the Corona Crisis I’ve been having some tricky times with my father. But the perspective of the situation I’ve been afforded is that this evening I am resolved to picking up the phone and ironing them out. Let’s see how that goes!
5. Our Values
I bumped into some friends last week – a mature couple – and we stood and chatted for a few moments, discussing the crisis. What else?! The lady explained how she and her husband had already had a conversation about what they were prepared to change as a result of the chaos they were experiencing. It filled me with such optimism about our human capacity!