The Age of Aquarius – this is the time of change
Published on Nov 2, 2020 on LinkedIn
We might have heard it before, looking at how the year 2020 is unfolding: this is in fact the year of change. We are watching as time goes on, amazed, confused and sometimes not yet believing what is happening. And how fast.
As a friend from Hongkong told me recently: we are in the middle of the age of Aquarius, associated with e.g. democracy, freedom, humanitarianism, idealism, modernization, rebellion, perseverance, humanity… We witness indeed fundamental change – and it has only just begun.
This is the time – the chance is ours to grasp.
Change is coming – like it or not
Yes, the scenarios don’t look nice, in fact, rather scary. Climate change, autocrats with blatant disregard for people, systemic racism, topped up by a worldwide pandemic. We are looking at the abyss still hoping we can get away lightly. Struggling to acknowledge that the time for radical change is now. That we need to reset for good.
Some people need to experience catastrophe firsthand before acknowledging the desperate need for change.
The ones who understand might feel like Cassandra, the seeress in ancient Greek mythology. Her gift of clairvoyance came with the curse that nobody ever listened to her. How devastating this must feel: to know the disaster coming but not being able to prevent it as nobody heeds any warnings.
Change is a process and being not a very patient person myself I often struggle with its pace. Some things simply do not happen quickly enough and now it feels as if we are running out of time. Do things really need to get worse and extreme first?
It appears rock bottom is not even in sight. As long as humankind refuses to learn from the obvious, ignoring the signs, there will be no mercy. As if fate really wants to make sure we do turn around before it’s too late.
Defiance in the face of adversity
Wishing to go back in time, remembering times we felt differently wrongly assuming that “things back then were just better” and problems as today “did not exist” is clinging to an illusion. The only difference to times back then is that at that time we simply did not know. Learning happens in hindsight. Now the digital age drags every issue out into the open. It’s not the problems which are increasing but rather our awareness – and that’s actually a good thing.
Yes, I do believe that most people are pretty decent so there is always a chance of turning things around. The certainty of casualties along the way – the price paid in lost lives, lost chances and destruction magnified by the effects of globalization should only strengthen our resolve to continue the path forward and not backing off an inch. Doing all we can to support and inspire making a real difference within our own circle of influence. The more hatred and despair appears the more we need to counter with hope.
Let’s turn it around
- We will survive the pandemic’ s devastating consequences. Hope is playing an essential part in this.
- We will focus on saving the planet and eliminating racism.
- We will stop social media companies amplifying hate on their platforms having a profound impact on societies around the world.
We have to hold on, undeterred. We can do it as Rebecca Solnit writes: “What we do now matters as it never has before.”
Encouraging thoughts in Scott Ludlum’s consoling love letter from 2029: ” I want you to know we did it, we turned the ship around. …What I want to say is: hold on to each other. It gets weirder and harder yet, but you have to hold on…”
Tenacity and determination
Although holding on is the only reasonable alternative it will not prevent sacrifices and needless suffering. Change won’t happen quickly and will be a long hard fight. That’s the terrible truth – even though I would rather not have it. It makes me sad but does not stop me, and should not stop any of us wanting a better future.
What also won’t happen is that after achieving one big change, one victory we could regard the problem as solved moving back to the normal agenda. Changing whatever needs changing, let it be climate change or systemic racism will be a continuous succession of fights and battles won, real victories and also setbacks.
Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense – no matter how it turns out. (Vaclav Havel)
Continuous awareness and discourse, trial and error sometimes in finding solutions, exploring options, but always having the big picture in mind: establishing balance between humanity’s and nature’s needs based on fairness and equality. That is the premise to be built upon and to never be abandoned.
We are all in this together
What we need is a willingness to deal with the problems at hand instead of ignoring them. We cannot afford to ignore or put things off anymore sacrificing solutions for economic gain of a minority.
Always remember: if we hold on regardless we have a chance as nothing is cast in stone. Let’s use this chance and don’t ever stop demanding change, enabling it, bringing it forward. It is not easy and will require tenacity. What’s more important than ever is to keep encouraging each other – in communities likewise as across borders.
” Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” (Margaret Mead)
We watch things already shifting. People have had enough on so many levels, everywhere. We are approaching a tipping point and we have seen already that none of us is too small or too unimportant to make a difference.
People are often further advanced than their governments when it comes to fairness, justice, tolerance or decency. It often appears there is more common sense and especially decency among ordinary people as opposed to those in power.
Which raises the question if ordinary citizens should not rather be more involved in direct democratic model type decision making. What do we really need politicians for if they do not represent their electorate but tend more to the interests of lobbies?
Bold ideas are already moving into focus, being shared and picked up by others: universal basic income, citizens’ direct democracy participation models, different agricultural models, renewable energy production, and more. This inspiration traveling across boundaries is so valuable in enabling change.
This year is not over yet and there is more change around the corner. To give you some hope in these difficult times here is a list of inspirational projects, good news and change makers worth checking out:
- How to get through the pandemic together
- Foundations for social change: New Leaf Project tackling homelessness with a direct cash transfer program in Canada
- World Central Kitchen, the non-profit organization of true visionary José Andrés providing meals in the wake of natural disasters, now also supporting Americans suffering in the coronavirus pandemic
- Inspirational podcasts and writers: Andrew Yang, Rutger Bregman (“Humankind” is his latest, highly recommendable book), de Correspondent, The How To Academy, Rebecca Solnit
- Overwhelming support and businesses responding to Marcus Rashford’s campaign providing free school meals in England
- Raheem partnering with Slack to end police violence against Black people
- Portugal treating migrants as residents during the corona crisis
- On the need to build back better after the crisis
“Hope just means another world might be possible, not promised, not guaranteed. Hope calls for action; action is impossible without hope.” (Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark)
What action could we, could you take?
The time is now to shape our future
Published on May 14, 2020 on LinkedIn
This longing in us that things shall be alright again in the end, like a good ending of a long haunting tale, is all too human and understandable. Maybe because it embodies hope itself.
But isn’t it always in our own hands, which end we bring to matters, especially in hard times and crisis?
When was the last time we used to say that nothing will be as it was before? After 9/11 or the 2008 financial crash? Seems like the world carried on regardless. Apparently, not many lessons learnt.
But now, for the first time it could be different.
In the past weeks we have seen how much is suddenly possible – things allegedly not possible before, because they were actually not wanted. But now they turn out to be the best option in the crisis situation, meaning they cannot be taken back that easily (typical example: working from home).
Facts have been created already which simply cannot be ignored.
We are being confronted with many fundamental questions we cannot avoid anymore. There is a new and increased transparency.
We are learning as we move along and we are – naturally – struggling.
The longing for going back to normal is understandable however, there simply is no normal anymore.
Talking to my colleagues in Spain during the past weeks they were looking forward to be able to leave the house again as measures were being relaxed. Even if it was just for an hour a day – they were really happy about this. To go for a walk. To go for a run at the beach.
And it might be such small things we will need to cherish in the coming months. Life will be different for sure. But not necessarily worse.
There is a chance now to build a new normal, a better one.
One that is born out of our learning experience combined with a longing for a better future, a more sustainable manner of living, fighting climate change, shaping the world as we want it to be.
It is up to us
One thing is for sure: if we want positive change to happen we need to get involved.
We cannot leave this to mere chance or to governments taking the right decisions. Once again we need to keep on demanding change while at the same time making it happen ourselves.
It means: we need to actively take part in this shaping exercise. Considering carefully how we want the world to look like, how we want to live together and to interact with each other.
What is really important – and what can we leave behind now as it is not serving us well or not anymore?
Which values do we want to be the centre pillars of our societies?
“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” (C.S. Lewis)
There are many people already rising to the occasion, wanting a stake in building this future – our future, to make an impact shaping a better reality. Go for it! Share your thoughts and contribute to the discussion.
I find myself eagerly picking up ideas and sharing them with my friends and colleagues. How happy it makes me watching people putting ideas into practice, starting initiatives or creating something wonderful. There are so many touching and inspiring examples out there.
Like some professional musicians living door to door in a Welsh town who setup a street orchestra to regularly entertain their neighbours.
Or the story of a flower grower in Listowel, Ireland who decided to donate her flowers to a nursing home, and the local police acted as the delivery service supporting this act of kindness.
The London charity Volunteer Services Lewisham switched creatively to food delivery service to ensure continued support of vulnerable people during lockdown.
Admirable 100 year old captain Tom Moore raised money for the British health service by walking back and forth in his garden.
Want more inspiration? I recommend the Long Read “The impossible has already happened: what coronavirus can teach us about hope” about the possibility of positive change, from my favourite Guardian columnist Rebecca Solnit.
The time is now
It feels like a collective brainstorming process. Tickling our creativity. Focusing on solutions. The positive.
How much we need that! It can only make the world a better place and it makes us stronger. This is so much more than just resilience. It strengthens us all in the process and is worth the effort.
Indeed, our focus needs to be on the positive, and on the necessary actions enabling and facilitating it.
The first step needed is creating a basic income for all. That would compensate for job losses in some industries which actually might be not worth saving – if we seriously want to tackle climate change. Like the big polluters – a commentary worth reading on that subject: “Let’s bail out the living world, not its destroyers“.
Then new jobs in sustainable companies and industries could be created. There is a chance to re-structure society shifting to a people focus and creating a better future.
It is very encouraging to see that things are already in motion: the government of New Zealand perceives the Covid19 situation as “a chance to reset economies on a sustainable footing“.
Spain wants to implement a basic income now as soon as possible. They would be the first European country to do it.
It is not over yet
Some people though appear to be still in denial simply wanting to “get over it”, not to be restricted anymore in their movements. We witness protest marches demanding an end to protective measures now in several countries. As understandable the wish for “going back to normality” might be – we need to take a look at the bigger picture.
This isn’t over yet. There is still the same risk out there.
Interestingly, such behaviour happens in countries which did not impose a really strict lockdown, but more relaxed measures like e.g. Germany or the Netherlands.
Those protesting on the streets should better realize how lucky they actually are. Benefiting from a good health system and from necessary measures having been implemented early on to reduce case numbers.
After all, it’s not as if we had spent years in confinement, now desperately demanding an end to this. These were just the first months into the new situation.
The real resilience test is only about to start.
One day at a time
We start to realize that so many things we took for granted are not possible anymore. We need to find solutions for countless everyday situations and tasks, having to re-organize, re- prioritize while often encountering difficulty or inflexibility.
Constant awareness, planning and thinking through of so many daily activities is suddenly required from us. Forming new habits takes time.
To decide if and how we travel, move, communicate, work, shop, do sports, handle events, visit restaurants, do leisure activities, meet friends, visit the elderly, school, learning, … the list is endless.
It requires big changes, positive thinking and solution oriented approaches.
Our governments need to take a shift of perspective and priority, too. Not to continue with business as usual but to muster the courage to build something new. To understand and address concerns, and provide guidance and support where needed.
Coping with change on such a scale is easier for some individuals, but for others it is really tough. We are all in this together and we need to listen to and understand, and of course, support each other.
Our mindset is the determining factor in the equation – as always.
It’s not easy to approach things in a positive way when we lose our job, get sick, worry about a loved one, cannot visit our friends, are in pain…
Positivity is an active choice. A hard one.
And that choice has to be made over and over again, each time our circumstances change, something bad happens, we are overcome by fear and worries, feeling overwhelmed or stressed out.
It is ok to “lose our marbles” once in a while or even regularly. Happens to me quite often, in fact.
And then – we need to cut ourselves some slack, pick ourselves up and re-focus. On the positive.
Of course, life is seldom fair and there are lots of terrible things happening each day. For sure, we need to allow ourselves to grieve our losses, and currently this is exactly what we face: the loss of the normal life we knew so far and took for granted.
Choosing positivity while knowing and acknowledging life’s difficulties is the only (hard) way forward in my opinion, and I invite you to join it.
What’s the benefit of worrying all the time what might happen, becoming anxious and stressed out?
If bad things happen to us which approach would help us the most? Has the best chance of working? Positive or negative? Glass half full view or half empty?
“You cannot calm the storm… so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.”(Buddha)
How many of your negative scenarios you made up in your head have actually become true? That’s the question I ask myself regularly to get me back on track.
While acknowledging that a lot is beyond our control – would it not be preferable to approach obstacles in a confident, positive manner, just trusting that if we do the best we can we might at least get a chance?
Venturing into the unknown
Maybe we need to realize that worrying is simply a waste of our time. Because we do not know what will happen. We never did. And we cannot prepare ourselves for every possible scenario in life – even if we try to do exactly that.
None of us can foresee the future, but now we perceive the uncertainty, the lack of safety as so much stronger, even threatening. This pandemic works like a magnifying glass. And it rightfully scares us. We question so many things and we have so many questions.
But the yet unknown could always turn out either way, right? So, why be fatalistic and count on a negative outcome? Why not take the opposite approach for a change? And believe that things can work out well? The narrative we choose in our heads is important, for ourselves and for the world around us.
Hope is a strong principle carrying us through. And if mankind had lost hope long ago we would not exist anymore. The good thing is: there are always enough among us who have not given up yet.
Dutch historian Rutger Bregman offers a refreshing, encouraging view on that topic (“our secret superpower is our ability to cooperate“), convinced that most people are willing to do good and support each other.
Being positive does not mean believing things will naturally come to a happy ending. It’s no excuse for complacency either. A positive approach comes with responsibility thus the imperative to do our bit and get involved. Just to have – and to create a chance.
It’s important to keep us in balance. To be realistic and well prepared, planning in the short term on one hand, but without worrying too much on the other.
Considering the magnitude of change happening, we will need positivity more than ever to guide us through these uncertain times and shape our future together.
What these crazy times are teaching us – how life is changing in the coronavirus crisis
Published on March 25, 2020 on LinkedIn
A bit more than a week has passed since day 0 when first tough measures were taken in the country I am living in – the Netherlands. A short time span, but since then so much is going on, changing, happening at lighting speed. It is interesting to watch and scary at the same time.
Day 0 was a turning point or cesura, however you may call it, confronting us with fundamental change much faster than we were able to digest or willing to accept.
Perceptions and first conclusions:
1) Some signs of positive change are emerging already giving us hope to hold on to, and a strong impulse to maintain and build on these changes in the future.
2) How immensely false information and dangerous behaviour are putting lives at risk in a state of emergency, and the increased urgency to tackle both of them.
3) When this crisis is over some fundamental decisions need to be taken: shaping a humane society by moving from excessive individualism to collective solidarity.
So, what do we witness now, in the Netherlands and elsewhere?
Everyone can’t help but notice the silence.
Hardly any cars on the roads. “No traffic jams” is what I hear each morning on the radio.
Nature is breathing a sigh of relief: less pollution, less noise, less CO2 emissions.
We are re-focusing. Much activity going on in fresh air – families are out walking, many people exercising in the sunny spring weather.
We are slowing down. And I actually like this. Feeling a longing for silence, for reducing speed of living. It may have existed in people’s minds for some time: the wish to escape the treadmill of always going faster, higher…
That’s a tough one. I find it really difficult to get used to keeping a distance to people – it requires constant concentration and awareness. It is so deeply ingrained in us to be in close contact, simply because we are “hard wired for connection” (Brené Brown). Everyone I talk to from a safe distance tells me the same: how challenging it is and how they enjoy still being able to talk to others, even if it is just a smalltalk with a stranger passing by.
I am already visualizing the day when it will be safe to give each other a hug again.
That’s also increasing exponentially. I am not the only one using phone, email, messengers etc more than ever, reaching out to my family, friends and colleagues in different countries.
It helps a lot to connect with people. It keeps me sane and grounded. Especially the matter of fact approach of my Dutch friends is a breath of fresh air.
It is a blessing of technology that we still can be close even though in a virtual way.
We are openly sharing our concerns, feelings, fears and joys even more; our patterns of communication are already changing.
Change is happening right now at an accelerated pace.
- Decisions are taken fast and adjusted daily by political leaders, having to move swiftly without knowing all the facts.
- Scientific research and development focusing on finding a vaccine and testing anti-viral treatments are intensified.
- To quickly manufacture and stock up on medical equipment, we witness plentiful “thinking out of the box”. Some very noticeable examples: Startups in Italy producing valves using 3D-printing technology; LVMH in France producing hand sanitizers; in the UK Vauxhall and Airbus working on producing ventilators; sportswear maker Trigema started manufacturing face masks; German hospital Klinikum Braunschweig now produces the urgently needed disinfectants themselves by sourcing alcohol from an alcoholic beverage producer.
- Governments initiating financial protection & supportive measures for vulnerable groups affected by the lockdown: e.g. Germany is currently creating the legal framework aimed at small businesses, self-employed workers and entrepreneurs, landlords and tenants, hospitals and social services etc. (e.g. via loans, grants, stability funds) to prevent bankruptcy and economic collapse.
A ray of hope to see such things happening now in a quick and unbureaucratic manner! A display of innovative thinking and flexibility. Something that calls for applying the same kind of approach to the climate crisis which poses the far greater threat to mankind.
The learning curve is enormous – for all of us. Though not all of us carry the enormous burden of responsibility having to take the right decisions for the population of an entire country.
“Sometimes a decade’s worth of change can happen in a week. This week will shape our lives and destinies for years to come.” (Global campaign network AVAAZ asking to sign an appeal to G20 leaders: “Your actions today will determine how many of us live or die”)
Government leaders having responsibility for all their people need to take decisions based on facts, not opinions. Although not knowing all the facts, they need to act fast in this emergency situation, correcting course on a day to day basis. Very tough call.
Medical experts are the ones to listen to now and to heed their advice. This realization is meanwhile dawning even on leaders who regrettably have been ignoring or abating science and facts during the past years. Dreading a high death rate suddenly drives most of them – albeit late – to reason.
The goal of utmost importance is to save lives and to prevent our health systems from collapsing, hence we need to buy us time to get prepared. Excellently analysed in the highly recommendable article by Tomas Pueyo on crisis strategies.
However, considering what we know so far it is scary to watch the ignorance of some individuals – predominantly young people – who are not following the imposed safety rules. This certainly has the potential to
endanger an entire society and bring about more deaths by increasing the likelihood of health services collapsing.
This crisis is bigger than us. We need to acknowledge it by stop complaining about what we cannot do anymore, and instead starting to look at the big picture. Every egoistic, risky behaviour of one individual can result in lives lost. This calls for shifting the narrow individual perspective to society as a whole: how can I ensure I do not impact others in a negative way?
False info on social media
Not surprisingly, the danger caused by spreading false or misleading information becomes more and more apparent. Fake news is not a new problem. But encouraging individuals to ignore safety measures in an emergency situation will eventually get others killed – and that could impact everyone of us.
Highlighting the increased urgency to fight it even harder, which will hopefully lead to appropriate regulations of social media enterprises in the future. One of the biggest challenges of our times, and a difficult one to tackle.
Important to reflect upon:
1) Using social media comes with responsibility. We need to carefully consider what we want to share and how it can impact others. Fact- checks are essential before sharing.
2) Posting false information on social media is not “voicing an opinion”. It is not covered by the right of freedom of speech. We’d better not fall for such shams pretending to be about democratic discourse and diversity of opinion. We have seen such ostensible arguments being used at length, e.g. by the far right and those entertaining conspiracy theories.
Solidarity and support
On the other hand, the countless examples of solidarity, support and resilience are heartwarming, striking a strong counterbalance! Here, too,
we see creativity and innovative spirit at work. To name a few examples from an ever growing list:
- Many individuals helping elderly neighbours with shopping.
- A shift of perception is happening finally acknowledging the importance of healthcare and service workers we usually take for granted. Long overdue words of praise and signs of gratitude are given for their difficult work; if it’s the joint clapping, or meals cooked and donated by restaurants to hospital staff.
- Encouraging to see many creative approaches from individuals and businesses, like small local food-shop owners in Utrecht joining forces creating a joint delivery service; or a digital book club for children recently setup by the Dutch selling platform bol.com.
- Singing from balconies is becoming a firm ingredient of public life. In Germany, people participated in a corona- flashmob on Sunday evening.
- The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra playing together virtually – each musician in his own home – is a very emotional testimony of how music is always crossing barriers.
The need for changing our societal setup moves into focus now, as many self-employed workers and small businesses fear for their livelihoods due to not being able to work during lockdown. Worth watching in this context is an older TED talk from Dutch historian Rutger Bregman, lobbying for the idea of a basic income to enable a decent life for all citizens and to eradicate poverty. Eventually we will need to decide what kind of world we want to live in, and to have the unconditional will to fund it. Then – based on the chosen principles and priorities – consistently creating the framework required for shaping a humane and equal society.
“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” (Jane Goodall)
How long will the lockdown last? We rightfully ask this question and deserve to be given a perspective by our governments. It is a precarious path to tread in a democracy enacting such restrictive measures curtailing the movements of its citizens. The impacts on us are numerous – physically, mentally, financially – and it cannot go on indefinitely.
Country leaders need to carefully consider their next steps, planning for contingencies and communicate to their people in a very transparent manner. We are not asking for easy answers but we need a realistic outlook and re-assurance. So far, most people have been reacting reasonably. Assuring and maintaining our trust is key.
It certainly is a tightrope walk limiting democratic rights to protect lives, much depending on daily development of number of cases and new medical insights emerging. Sharing information & best practises and coordination between countries on a global level is also an absolute key factor in this race against time.
For myself, I chose not to panic. Notwithstanding being worried and well aware of the dangers. It is an active choice – not an easy one.
However we may call it – a crucible or a test of resilience – it is pretty scary to be in it, and some of us are certainly more impacted than others. So let’s count our blessings.
To all of you in various stages of lockdown, being worried about the future; to all who are sharing their thoughts, feelings, laughter and inspiration with me: let me extend a virtual hand to you and assure you – this, too will pass.
What we all need to remember in the coronavirus crisis
Published on March 15, 2020 on LinkedIn
These are crazy times right now. Scary, frightening, especially since many things have become uncertain – and that might remain for an unknown time span, which makes it difficult to find the right approach. We basically need to question almost every aspect of our daily lives.
That’s why we currently witness the whole range of human behaviour between total panic and being in denial of the situation.
What is important right now?
Apart from every individual taking the necessary measures to protect themselves and others by getting the facts, keeping informed and heeding expert advice:
We need to be reasonable and act responsibly even if it’s tough and asks a lot from us. It means essentially, relinquishing a lot for the time being: like traveling, meeting friends, going out for a meal… – and we are simply not used or willing to do this.
However, the necessity to change our behaviour is now slowly sinking in for all of us. A reminder about how privileged we are and how much we actually take for granted.
During the last days I felt grateful for every walk outside in nature I could still take – I am expecting tougher measures possibly restricting my movements being put in place soon also in my country.
On the other hand, it is interesting and very encouraging to see that many citizens, institutions and organisations are willing to take stricter measures and faster decisions now than what their government asks of them. Like some Dutch schools announcing already that they close from tomorrow on their own accord. Safety first. That way by being a step ahead it then often results in politicians to follow suit (today on the news, the Dutch government announced a school closure).
And speaking of politicians and governments: what they shall better consider immediately: this is not about winning a popularity contest, getting re-elected or money. Saving lives is priority #1.
What we desperately need is considering strongly and carefully how our behaviour is impacting others. And how we can help others. Solidarity. A big topic, often forgotten or even ridiculed over the last years. Exactly that must be remembered now.
What else can we do?
Inspiring, keep spreading positivity, re-assuring and supporting each other – that is so much more important than we might think.
A beautiful example we could see this week: how the resilient, music- loving Italians who are in lockdown are keeping their morale high by singing together from their balconies! And how their children paint messages of hope: “andra tutto bene” .
Fighting panic or misinformation is also important. Done in a very funny way by a Dutch forklift operator who posted a 360 degrees’ view of
massive toilet paper stocks in a warehouse assuring people, laughing, that there really are enough goods and nobody needs worrying.
There are more such and other examples on social media I have seen in the last weeks. People sharing uplifting stories, messages of hope, photos, quotes, music… I believe we all need to follow these examples in our own way. Luckily, we have the technology and the tools to do this and to remain connected.
Spreading hope to counter fear or misinformation or hatred is in general the only possible way forward, but now more than ever. Each and every one of us can do this within our own circle of influence with the individual options available to us.
Reaching out to each other, re-assuring each other is what we need – and not only right now. Don’t ever underestimate the power of a message of support to another person. It can make a real difference.
Much needed: Leadership!
On another note, what certainly becomes apparent through this crisis:
- The dire need for leadership in politics, business and communities. But also on an individual level. It translates directly into the willingness to do the right thing.
- The need for co-operation, a coordinated approach and sharing information and best practices – within and between countries. We are stronger together – a no-brainer, in fact.
- Last but not least, it begins to show who does not have answers and what does not work at all: authoritarian, racist, divisive views. Hatred. Ignoring reality and science.
Looking at what is unfolding I believe this crisis could be a turning point:
Concerning the political situation in some countries.
Concerning the manner how we communicate with and treat each other.
Concerning overdue policies to be put in place, e.g. improving health services and education or changing labor laws – just to name a few.
If there is any good to come out of this – then that might be it. Even if looking at the big picture is hard for us as – understandably – we are currently more focused on our own situation: I believe it helps to keep this thought at the back of our minds as a prospect of positive change to come in the future.
“Imagine, what we could all do – together – if we really wanted to!” (Greta Thunberg)
So why am I asking you to not give up hope, to keep on spreading positivity? You might rightfully feel that’s easier said than done. Very true.
Being part of a risk group myself (suffering from allergic asthma) I personally have very mixed feelings in those difficult times. I absolutely do not find it easy to stay positive.
It is ok to be scared, to be angry. We are all human. To be very clear: I am not asking you to be optimistic.
It’s rather about being realistic and confident. Thus not giving up hope or compromising on humanity in the face of adversity. We all need to hang in there and be there for each other.
There is light at the end of the tunnel – even if we might not see it
yet. Although since yesterday, a glimpse of it has become visible: Dutch scientists have discovered the first-ever antibody to the coronavirus!
Wherever you are, take good care of yourselves.
And do not give up. Ever.