“Every success story is a tale of constant adaptation, revision, and change.” Richard Branson
It’s amazing how quickly the world as we know it can change, despite our best efforts to keep things the same. The last few weeks have opened my eyes in surprising ways. The resilience of people, and the absurdity. People helping their neighbors, and people hording toilet paper. Seriously – I don’t understand the latter.
I like to believe that I’m open to change – or at least I want to be. But if you had asked me a few weeks ago if I believed change could come as fast and furious as it has due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I would have been skeptical. I might have said, sure, some stuff will change, but it will take time. It will be slow. People hate change. And people don’t like being told to change.
Fast forward to today. Whole countries are shutting down. I’m being allowed – no, told – to work from home. And I work for a company that in the past was unwilling to consider allowing anyone to work from home. Ever. I have been advocating for at least some opportunity to do this, just for a few people. Just to see if it would work. And I was met with resistance stronger than a brick wall. But when the virus began to spiral out of control and state governments began shutting down businesses and ordering self-quarantine, we listened. We took it seriously. And in a matter of days, we implemented a program that allows nearly fifty percent of employees to work from home. And guess what? It’s working. We adapted in record time.
What’s happening in our world today is unprecedented. It is forcing us to adapt. And we are learning that most of us are capable of doing so. And we will need to adapt again when the crisis is over – adapt to a world scarred by the virus and by the actions taken to combat its spread. Our journeys will look different, but let’s not forget those whose journey includes the loss of a job or, worse, the death of a loved one. Let’s remember that our journeys intertwine and cross no matter how different they are, or how complex they may be. And as we cross paths may we remember that no-one truly walks the path along their journey alone.
So what does this mean moving forward? That’s hard to say. I hope it helps the world come together to heal. To understand that we are all part of this world – each dream, each joy, each hope. As we are moving to the next chapter of our lives we have demonstrated we are capable of adapting or working together. We may not know what lies around the corner, but we do know we’re up to the challenge.