Are we ready for a new beginning? Are we ready to reconnect and rise again? Are we willing to be the change we want to see?
I wanted to share with you some inspirational thoughts about various topics, but seeing that the world has almost come to a standstill, it seems more sensible to talk about this standstill, or lockdown, instead.
At this present moment, various nations around the world are experiencing a lockdown due to the infamous corona virus. It is important to realise that so are we – each one of us is experiencing an “internal lockdown” as we all find ourselves in the midst of this turbulent storm. It is a lockdown that is locking us emotionally, personally and financially.
Together with inspiration and motivation, we all need emotional support to forge a way forward, to understand how we will take care of our families, how long it will take us to be fine again and to re-build ourselves again. We need to build new, stronger and lasting foundations.
The Crown that demolished our foundations
Corona means “crown” and we will be “wearing” this crown for some time; many will wear this Crown forever as they succumb to its devastating effect. It is a crown that brings no honour and does not make kings or queens.
The fact is that in this present moment we are all equal, stripped of most of our rights, jobs, businesses, positions, titles and, sadly, some have been stripped of loved ones that have lost their fight against the virus. By being equal I mean that irrespective of our status, race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation or achievements we are all potential virus carriers or virus victims.
This present moment calls for reflection, it is the moment wherein we realise that the world as we know it, has just collapsed and it has shaken, if not destroyed our foundations, our reality or perhaps what we thought was the only reality available to us. We find ourselves on “ground zero” and from here we will need to re-build new foundations, a new way of living.
I ask myself whether the foundations on which we built our lives thus far are as strong and wise as we thought they were. Let’s face it, we have been living in a societal system that is obsessed with material possessions, a society filled with egoistic ideals, a society where many are starving and many live above their means with long-term unnecessary bonds for luxuries that they do not need. And then there is the remaining 1% of the few that possess most of the global wealth.
We thought we were thriving. We lived in a society that pushed us to work 6 days a week, 9 hours a day, almost praising the “master” for giving us a chance to work more. We rushed, we needed to prove ourselves, we needed constant validation, we needed more degrees, we needed bigger houses, we needed more of everything. That has ended. Corona put a stop to it all.
Will we learn to live a new life, with a new balance and more aligned with our spirit instead of our ego? I think we will. We might need time to adjust and start all over again, but I believe that many people will thrive in the new way, new day.
A new Lesson – we can be everything together
Reading various worldwide news, we get overwhelmed with information about why and how this corona crisis happened. Some believe it happened because it had to. Perhaps it happened because we, as a spoiled society, exploited the planet in every possible way. Maybe the whole crisis was orchestrated and planned… I guess time will tell what the actual truth is.
What we do know now, is that we woke up to a new day with a new reality. We woke up to an understanding that we are nothing, but we can be everything, if we unite, if we stand together.
This moment has united us by isolating us.
Perhaps the main lesson that we can all learn from the Domino Effect of the corona crisis – it started in one part of the word and continues spreading throughout the globe – is that we need to re-think how we live, how we treat our planet and how we treat everyone around us.
This event reminds us that maybe we need to reconsider all this rushing to obtain, achieve, accumulate and possess. Having experienced such a global shutdown made us finally realise that we are all the same. The corona crown has placed us all on the same level – whether you are a CEO of a listed company, a bartender, an accountant or a housekeeper, you are confined between the walls of your homes, big or small as they may be.
This event has revealed more truths than we care to see. It has revealed the sad truth that inequality has been thriving in the world. Now we are beginning to understand what it means to live like the poorest of the poor – without knowing what lies ahead or where the next meal will come from. We are beginning to understand why the homeless and migrants want to escape their realities and move to a potentially better place, better tomorrow. Yes, we will gain a better understanding of all these things because many of us will be negatively affected by this corona crisis.
Will we finally awaken?
While in quarantine, I trust people found time to read books, to spend more time with their children and I hope that people found moments to just be still, to be and to bond again. Most importantly, I hope majority of people rediscovered important values that were perhaps not forgotten, but they were neglected and underestimated due to “busy” lives.
I also hope this has awakened the majority into realising that we are harming our planet. Many of us have seen how nature blossomed while humanity came to a standstill. Will we realise that wildlife deserves to live in its habitat and not in zoo? How do you feel being confined to your modern “cages”? Our cages are comfortable and filled with colour, but the fact that we could not walk in nature or by the sea made us feel powerless and imprisoned. We are still struggling to accept being confined for an indeterminate period!
Will we understand that nature is precious? Will we understand that we are the planet’s guardians and live up to our responsibilities of caring for it properly? For a long time, the planet hasn’t felt so silent, pristine and clean as it feels now with humanity at a standstill.
Will we continue with old patterns? Will we continue listening to global powers without acting? We are the ones that give them power and we should learn to take it back, should they not listen. Have we really been evolving or did we start going backwards in our thinking at some stage? We have advanced technologically. But have we advanced on an emotional level as society? Well, if we haven’t now is the time to do so.
Social distance has been the most trending word in the last few months, but is this word so current? Perhaps we need to get around the idea that during the lockdown we were “physically distant” but keep in our minds that we have been “socially distant” already for a while.
Let’s face it, the fast pace environment we lived in, the advancement of technology, the busy lives we lived till recently made us connect more via mobile phones than by actual personal closeness.
Did you, in the past, come across a group of people, perhaps friends and families, sitting together at a beautiful coffee shop with an ocean view? Did you notice them constantly checking their mobile phones for the latest news, the latest trend , the latest “like” or “heart” emoji on a social media platform? Was this social closeness or social distance?
And if all the above is debatable, how come worldwide statistics show increasing numbers of people affected by illnesses such depression, suicide, loneliness and anxiety? Is this a picture of a “socially close” humanity? We are connected like no other generation has been connected before in history, yet we live more disconnected than before. Will we share our humanity again or will we continue with our old ways of living?
My wish is that this time we will try to do better, one step at a time. And by doing better I mean being the actor and creator of a new reality. We each need to be on the stage and not in the back seat.
UBUNTU –The belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity
The South African philosophy of Ubuntu to me represents the epitome of how we should all live from now on.
“I am because we are” is the most relevant explanation of Ubuntu and now like never before in history, we have felt the spirit of togetherness as we are united in being separated and isolated during the global shutdown.
We see Ubuntu when people sing from their balconies, when they applaud those serving humanity by keeping citizens safe, when dedicated people save lives, provide necessities in keeping essential stores open. We see Ubuntu in volunteers buying groceries for the elderly or for the ones in need and in neighbours finally re-connecting by sharing and exchanging home-grown produce. Ubuntu unites us all, irrespective of our differences or beliefs.
The truth is that Ubuntu has always been present in all cultures, but it lost its loudness. I hope that from now on, it will be the loudest philosophy and that we will demonstrate more of it by living it and sharing it with one another.
Together we can build new and stronger foundations, a new state of mind, a new reality driven by all of us as leaders and not just followers. Leaders who lead by example and integrity.
I am because we are.
Finally, I would like to salute you with a quote from Desmond Tutu who said; “Do your little bit of good where you are, it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
An entrepreneurial professional with global experience within the Tourism & Hospitality Industry. By venturing in this industry, I was given the opportunity to explore the world, absorbing the magnificence of multiple landscapes and cultures. From the Maldives Islands to Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula, the United Arab Emirates, cruising with Ocean Liners through Central & South America and Europe as well as Launching river cruises on the European waterways and landing in one of the busiest hubs in Africa – Johannesburg, the city of Gold, where his journey continues.”