A great time to rethink how we live and interact with each other
In an instant all our lives have changed. Conspiracy theories abound, fear ramps up. We are deluged with news, trying to determine which is real and which is fake. We are under attack by an unseen ‘enemy’, a Third World War, where no-one is safe, we can’t see the enemy and it can strike anyone down in an instant. It feels as though this is the end of the world as we know it. Maybe a good thing for the earth, and definitely a great time to rethink how we live and interact with each other.
I am, by coincidence or serendipity, hunkered down in Cape Town with my daughter, son-in-law, my granddaughter, 3 ½ and grandson, almost 2.
I am using lessons learned from a time in my life many years ago, when I sailed from South Africa to the Caribbean, on a 17m yacht with my family of 5, including my young brother who was 4. In those days there were no cell phones, no Wi-Fi, no contact with anyone outside of the yacht, until we reached a harbour on an island. Stressful and difficult to remain sane with very poor leadership. Nowhere to go, nowhere to hide. I coped by taking quiet time in the middle of the night while I was alone on the midnight to 8am watch, talking to the stars.
Going forward one step at a time
I am seeing this time of lockdown, as I did on the yacht. There is no way ahead but to go forward, one step at a time. This has been a time of deep self-reflection of my life and purpose. I am in Cape Town with my daughter, and my son is in Johannesburg, working from home. Luckily we have technology so we can remain in contact daily. I can talk to my family and friends around the world in an instant.
We are very fortunate here in Cape Town – we have a home, a team of adults working together to take care of each other, and especially of the two innocent souls who rely totally on us for their care and survival, and who have adapted to this new life without question or complaint.
Lessons in co-operation, planning and structure
It has been a great lesson in co-operation, planning and structure, giving each other space to zone out when necessary. A work space has been fashioned so that everyone can continue to work from home. Sometimes it is emotionally challenging to find, and maintain, the motivation and relevance of working in this new way. I miss the face to face human interaction with the people and teams and I work with.
My heart bleeds for those who have no homes, or who live in shacks with families cramped in one room. I fear for what will happen as people run out of money. I fear for those living in abusive environments with no way out, and no support structures. I think we are in for a very long and tough ride.
I am grateful for everyone who is out there making sure that the world keeps turning, those in the medical field putting their lives at major risk, to the farmers, the shop workers ensuring we can eat, the garbage collectors, the police.
A more compassionate and caring world
I love the innovation and connection that is happening on social media. People giving selflessly of their time to others, humour abounds.
We truly are a connected species, perhaps this virus will help us all realise how disconnected we have become, and to reconnect and create a more compassionate and caring world, finding more gentle and nurturing solutions for people, business and the planet.