What happens when quite suddenly the normal parts of our lives simply STOP or are drastically changed? When work stops or changes? When family patterns are disrupted? When income changes? When our usual recreational activities are halted? When we are separated from normal family and social interaction?
Many of us, after that, have found ourselves actually wanting a NEW, a different normal when we come out on the other side of this. Some of the new normal will be beyond our control. Other things may be chosen or created by us.
Questions, as is often the case, can open up new things to consider. I found a series of questions posed to his employees by a CEO of a major company in India.* Perhaps you have thought about similar things. For example:
- “How can we continue to unburden our environment in the future? (Have you seen some of the photos and statistics about how air pollution has changed in some locations during this time of shutdown?)
- Can we use transport more efficiently?
- Can we travel less and leave less of a carbon footprint?
- Can we increase the use of long-distance ways of meeting and communication to work more efficiently and enhance our work life balance?
- Essentially, can we reboot our personal and professional way of life?”
We may be noticing some of the gaps and weaknesses in the way the country operates while we go through this experience.
- The inequality of our health care system is certainly being highlighted.
- As school systems are going to online learning in elementary, middle and high schools, we are hearing about the gap of technology availability within schools and among students of different financial situations.
- There is a broader technology gap regionally and urban versus rural.
- The vulnerability of people to this virus in group settings like nursing homes and long-term care facilities and correctional institutions has been highlighted. Are there options that are better for health and safety?
Perhaps we are seeing needs for new structures and services to better meet the needs of individuals and families – more flexibility in how we do our jobs, different kinds of childcare, schools that interact and function differently. What are you seeing?
New Visions, Values and Priorities?
If we have come out of this experience with new visions, values and priorities for our personal/family lives, for our communities, country and world, it is up to us to be the advocates and activists for those things. We can use the tools of our technology to connect with individuals and groups who are also wanting things to be different. We can help to create the new normal that comes after this.
As things are disrupted by the pandemic, this may be a time when positive changes are more possible than when things are more solidified. You may find some ideas and inspiration in this book: A Finer Future, Creating an Economy in Service to Life. The authors are world leaders in business, economics and sustainability who have gathered environmental economics evidence, and outlined principles of a regenerative economy, along with a policy road map to achieve it.
*Read more about Anand Mahindra and his letter to his employees here: https://www.livemint.com/companies/people/anand-mahindra-tells-employees-to-take-a-relook-at-life-prepare-for-post-corona-world-11585816739150.html