I am done with post Covid doom scenarios these days. Simply because they are not helpful.
I get it. People are worried, the future is uncertain.
Amidst uncertain times the mind can take us hostage and create its own horror movie.
Mix it with a good daily dose of fear and voila; We are all going bunkers.
Repeat it enough during the day, since what else is there to do, and you got yourself in a loop of self-affirming doom that’s hard to get out of.
This writing intends to offer a way out of the rabbit hole. Not with fresh stats, facts, or anything that tries to convince you out of anything. I am not contra or pro any narrative.
What I do, with your kind permission, is take a big step back, look at what is going on, place it in a wider perspective, and come up with signs that we, all of us, are growing into something better altogether.
At the end of the day, a crisis is a transformation in disguise.
1. A crisis is a sign of growth
This crisis itself is the biggest sign that we are on the right track, to begin with. Because it is so massive.
This might sound like Chinese to you, let me explain.
A virus has kicked us all out of the normal. Since a virus is part of nature, it is mother earth that grabbed us by the balls and is making something utterly clear to us all. Elite, middle-class and people in the lowest levels of the pyramid.
Stop what you are doing, NOW.
In the meanwhile, I give myself a hell of a reset, and you, scratch yourselves behind your ears.
The Chinese symbol for crisis is this:
The upper character represents danger and the lower opportunity, or a point where things happen and eventually change because of good timing.
That fits amazingly in our current state, right? A huge opportunity has dressed up as a humongous threat, spoiling our party. We all feel, however, underneath the daily fears and foes around Corona hides great opportunities.
2. The Sign Of Collective Power
Apart from the legal obscurity of martial law following the lockdown measures, something magical happened just before our Politicians stole the show, as usual.
We, as humanity, stood firm. We made the biggest collective agreement in history. It started in our small in-group of friends. Than wider in our communities followed by Politics. But we, the people, were first. It was the united agreement to stand resilient in line together to do whatever it takes to ‘battle’ this enemy.
Now, I don’t like these warfare words because when you try to fight death you will never win. What happened is that mainstream media and Politicians hijacked the momentum and injected ‘The War Against Corona” back into us. As a virus of fear so to speak. But we, the people, were first. It was magic.
For the first time in my life I felt how borders subsided, how ‘left’ and ‘right’ merged, how a common goal united us in unprecedented intention and power.
This gives immense hope for the immediate future. Will we do it again? Just remember that our collective agreement contained these 3 elements;
- Urgency (We need to decide now since the virus is spreading rapidly)
- A Goal/ Purpose (To flatten the curve)
- Consensus (When we are not all in this together it won’t work)
When 1 and 2 are strong enough, 3 will follow automatically.
It has been deployed for this cause, but will it be used for cleaning the oceans from plastic? For helping the 15.000 people that die daily out of hunger and malnutrition? Or other idealistic causes?
I get it.
Probably there is not enough urgency for us in these humanitarian crises. Maybe in the future, there will. Remember, when our sheer survival depends on it, we have the power. The urgency just needs to become clear and strong enough. Like in our face.
Most important is that millions of people, and I guess you too, now have that imprint of how powerful a collective is and can act in unity beyond political agenda or corporate growth models.
3. The Signs For Economic Reform
Talking about the economy. This crisis is showing us we can do without 95% of it. What does that mean for the near future? Sending 95% of our workforce home? Well, they are already home. Just Kiddin.
No, what I mean is that this course of events made us all look different at our Western Capitalist survival of the fittest model. When the fittest are stroke by a virus, what then? And not only the fittest, all of us?
23 million more unemployed in the US alone, more than a million in Spain, where I live. Are we finally able to stand up for the ‘weaker’? With we, I mean again the collective. It is already happening under our eyes. Basic income for low-income groups in Spain is a good start.
On a deeper level, we are being confronted with the question: What is essential? When our securities didn’t seem all that secure, who will catch us?
Or are we left alone in our isolation to crumble, starve and die?
This crisis is showing us that we don’t.
Even when some governments would fail in the next weeks and months to come up with a solid social plan, I strongly believe local communities will take over in some kind of semi barter model.
Or different kind of deals will be able to make.
The virus made us create economical rescue plans based on humanitarian principles. It sparked expressions of local compassion and sharing of wealth. The crisis might well be the start of a basic universal income.
Underneath we all have felt that we, as humanity, are vulnerable. We need to take care of each other when shit really hits the fan. This awareness is changing the game as we speak.
This is How Coronavirus is a Miracle In Disguise
We can turn the weapon of fear pointed towards us into a sword of change to perform miracles
The threshold we are in right now is the best opportunity ever to change the greed oriented model of controlling and exploiting nature, competing with each other over never enough money and an economic model based on ‘more for me is less for you’ into something closer to a gifting model where ‘more for me means more for you too.
We have been able to practice this the last few weeks and it might well become part of our new normal.
Economic reform won’t happen overnight, but we have never been so close after the Industrial revolution. Clear signs show us that this crisis IS the turning point.
4. Signs That We Re-Evaluate Our Values
The foundations of the above mentioned economical changes are grounded in values. The quarantine offered a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a deep dive in our value’s.
When in history did humanity, literally, stop?
Stop moving forward, stop making targets, stop living in the future, stop making bookings, stop serving clients. Millions of shopping malls are closed as we speak. No mass consuming, no rushing off to work, busy and full to our heads with appointments.
I have lost 2/3 of my income overnight. But I know that I am not alone. It makes me re-orientate, maybe find something else to do. First of all, I don't have to pay rent for the coming 2 months. This is the community level economics I am talking about. It fills my heart with the hope we can pull this off on a bigger scale.
Maybe you went through the same, maybe you are doing better than ever since you sell toilet paper and all of your business is online already. Still, you might have found yourself in re-evaluating your values. Because it is bigger than you, it is a collective re-calibration.
When we get so close to death, we focus on what counts.
What counts for you? Is your company still the place you want to spend your life energy? Maybe after our economic reform, many businesses will not be essential enough.
This period is the biggest wake-up call in history.
When your life was run by your agenda, this is the time to take control over your time, your values and your life again. To find a truer purpose in your work and your life.
5. We Are Discovering Our Own Personal Truth
Despite the collective awareness and solidarity, there is still a lot of dehumanization going on. Different groups in society are fighting each other over their own truth. Social media has become the perfect battleground.
People react emotionally on almost anything these days. A normal discussion has become the outlier.
From the bunkers of people’s tight opinions, hand grenades of hate and social media blame and shame are thrown all over the threads.
Mainstream media ads her part in the confusion by stirring things up, by heating up the emotions, especially fear. In the last couple of weeks, some NEWS events have been exposed as downright lies. I don’t go in the details now and I don't choose sides, but it is evident that the weakened position of fact-checked, honest journalism combined with the enormous digital anxiety exposed on our social media only leads to one thing; A humongous confusion.
I have noticed many friends and people I know becoming downright afraid and confused in the last weeks during the quarantine. Many have turned their backs to Facebook or Twitter snake pit threads. They are draining, it serves nobody. People have better more constructive things to do.
When I zoom out, again, it is all part of this process of purging. Finding the truth about things, your own truth. In practicing transcending ‘sides’ and in realizing that we, as humanity in crisis, are no longer served by this ever-ongoing separation, dehumanization and shaming and blaming the ‘other’.
When you step out of it, you do yourself and humanity a huge service.
The sign is that more and more people drop out of that ever-ongoing war for truth, for ego’s fighting over Facebook posts. When they find their truth, they are more likely to start contributing to society in a positive way, start serving others with whatever talent they have..be it small, be it big, it doesn't matter.
6. Signs That Humanity Has A Burnout
For the last decade already, people got more and more burned out. When you have experienced a burn-out, you know what I am talking about.
Most of the time a burn out leads to letting go of your work. It can result in a process of deep reset, of re-evaluation. From the outside, many would refer to these moments in life as a crisis. A drop out of the normal routines, the day-to -day patterns, to what we clung on to. This is exactly what we are experiencing right now on a massive scale. It makes me mesmerize that:
Humanity is burned out and needs a break
Our old ways of doing things weren’t working for us anymore. So what now?
Well, all of the above things. Our economy is adapting into something more human-oriented, we are researching our values en masse through quarantine, and as a result of the digital media landscape and the changes in the culture of mainstream media, we are thrown back on our own truth as a guiding principle.
A burn out looks like a crisis.
I recently had a deep conversation with a friend who went through a burn out recently. He managed to transform the experience in actual growth. He let go of the “I have to” and managed to turn it into the “I want to”, and “I love to” He found back the joy in his life by following a truer purpose. He found the courage to live his dream, to let go of old conditioning.
We are in this phase as humanity right now. As we are re-inventing ourselves, the big not to miss sign is that our old patterns, our old habits and ways to do things have come to a big halt too, just like with a burnout.
This period of sitting home and letting go of the old ways is transformation disguised as a crisis.
7. Signs That Normal Has Changed Forever
Somehow we all know that the old normal won’t come back again. Many are worried that when we come out of this our civil rights will be taken and with it our privacy and other things we have fought for in the past.
I chose to look at it from the perspective of growth and transformation. I don’t want to be lead by fear.
For me it is a big sign of growth when we collectively agree that we don’t want to go back to the old normal. It is like my burned-out friend consciously choosing not to go back to his old job. When enough of us do this, we co-create another future together.
This break from the ordinary gives us all a huge once in a lifetime opportunity to embrace our own new normal. Ask yourself, how does your new normal look like? You have time enough to draw it out in much detail.
All these personal transformations, changes and new choices will lead to a collective shift. Never forget the imprint from our collective choice to stay at home. There are enough signs, the ones that I described, that makes me believe this crisis is a huge transformation to something more human, more healthy and sustainable, more truthful and more ‘together’.
The choice is yours, us, we, all together to co-create new ways for humanity.
Humanity is the quest to find out what it means to be human
Covid19 sure is doing one hell of a job to get us on the right track. This unprecedented crisis is, in fact, a once in a lifetime opportunity for tremendous growth. The signs are clear.