As we are now cornering in on a reference in time that is now measured in months, in this strange new world of “lockdown”, I am thinking increasingly of the number of dynamic shifts forced into focus. Otherwise flourishing businesses have been brought to a screeching halt. Jobs lost. Plans altered. The changes to our lives have happened with massive speed, the adjustments tough, the impact outright scary. The single question on the tip, when will things get back to normal? There are lots of discussions now about what the exit door should look like. I expect that the normal will be a redefined shift.
COVID19 has changed the societal playing field. The playbook is being written, edited, and revised in real-time. Efforts by most governments worldwide to stave off the potential for mass infection have been profoundly disruptive. No one wants to leave a legacy behind that bears the responsibility of unnecessary deaths. And perhaps in the near term, these actions are plausible and responsible, but for how long and at what costs? These are practical questions lingering in the air in front of us leading us into a host of moral and philosophical debates. These discussions will no doubt shift our thinking. But maybe it’s not about a return to the way things were, rather more about a shift to living our lives differently moving forward.
I am proud of our humanity in the face of this pandemic crisis. We have unintentionally entered into this massive human experiment that will have far-reaching fodder for environmental, economic, societal, and human study. The domino effect and the complexity of social distancing and legislative intervention is huge. If someone were to have turned to me months ago and foretold of our current situation, I would have thought them to be somewhat off. However, there have been predictions very close to this surreal reality. Between Hollywood’s different creative versions of what a pandemic could look and Bill Gates predictions, very much on point; Do we listen? Do we take notice? It is hard enough to fight an enemy that cannot be seen when it is in its full force, let alone be proactive and plan for it. Another shift in how we think about that which we cannot see.
China’s silencing of Dr. Li Wenliang who first identified COVID in December cost the world critical weeks of added exposure adding fuel to a grievance that is now starting to play out on the world stage. Questions regarding our reliance on China moving forward are becoming louder. And they should be. We find ourselves in a bizarre situation where we are benevolent to the very nation whose secrecy and lack of transparency may have put us here. However, this did not happen without our own push towards greater and unbridled globalization. Perhaps, we have to take some responsibility for the compromise of a blind eye in favor of our own demand for cheap goods. This crisis may very well be the single event that will shift back the manufacturing base to greater self-reliance. Will we make that shift? A question for the future to be answered in the looking glass of history.
The interrelationships between everything that exists has a natural order. The classic result when interfering with nature is like pail bailing a leak to keep your boat afloat. When we introduce a foreign species to offset a natural threat or artificially alter our ecology in the name of progress; the benefits often cause disruption that will require more intervention and so on and so on. The coronavirus-driven collapse may have far-reaching and unpredictable consequences for a long time to come. Or will it? We, humans, are a capable bunch. Circumstances of necessity breed great periods of inventive creativity. On the flip side of this crisis, will be massive innovation. Our resilience and creativity will find ways to enhance our lives with the new norms (wherever that pin drops) because that is the history of the human race. We are driven by primary objectives to survive, thrive, and multiply.
I read about companies shifting their focus overnight. A leather wallet manufacturer flips its process to manufacture face masks, and retired engineering unearths 30-year-old designs for an easy to make ventilator using a domestic supply chain. One group out of New York launched a site that sells “bonds” in hotels – a 50% return on investment is guaranteed to use against your future hotel stay. A 17-year old using his 3D printer is making critical, potentially, life-saving supportive devices. The list goes on. Drug therapies, testing, technology; These people who have quickly adapted. They figured out where they fit into a new reality and actioned their ideas. My 5th-grade teacher, Mrs. Ellison, would wave her shaky finger at one of us if we tried giving excuses why our work wasn’t handed in on time; “young man, where there is a will there’s a way”. Old Mrs. Ellison was not far off the mark. Shifts in innovation are always possible to deal with almost any situation of necessity we just have to accept, adapt, and act.
We are living in one of those moments in time that will likely define the beginnings of significant changes. Our future will divide into what was before and came after. As 9/11 dramatically altered our sense of security. COVID19 will create new social norms, introduce new technology, and renew an urgency for manufacturing independence. What part will you play in this new shift?
“One way or another this darkness has got to give”. The Grateful Dead
Israel Ellis is the author of Moving Through Walls (2019), CEO of AdvancePro Technologies, and Co-Founder of 365 Investment Partners. visit www.israelellis.com
Moving Through Walls contains practices, philosophies, attitudes, and anecdotes that will challenge one’s assumptions and inspire them to commit to new, transformational practices. Israel Ellis takes us on a journey to explore how we limit ourselves when instead we can optimize our potential.
– Aubrey Dan | Amazon.ca
I thought I was going to breeze through this book on a flight– but I was pleasantly surprised by how incredibly touching and powerful the content was. I found myself immersed in the story, the teaching and coming away from each chapter in deep introspection for how to re-align my life and be more present. Now, 7 days later after having finished the book, I feel reinvigorated and inspired. Thank you, Israel, for so vulnerably sharing your truth and takeaways! #LivingMyLifeOnMyTerms
– Liz J. Simpson | Amazon.com