* Line delivered by Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) to his friend Wilson the Volleyball, in the 2000 film Castaway
COVID-19 puts us all in a space where we are presented with the harsh reminder that we’re human. Maybe we needed that reminder. We’re adjusting to a new way of life, or maybe we’ve forgotten what life is?
We have reaffirmed our dedication. We’ve shored up our digital communication strategy. We’ve analyzed the impact on critical systems. We’ve shared community resources. We’ve launched discounting and we have creatively and rapidly adjusted this sinking feeling all while over-explaining and demanding more of one another as to how we are going to handle this situation. We’re going to get back that life we had, even if it kills some of us.
The only problem is, humans are not a situation or a business problem for which business solutions determine predictable and reliable outcomes.
I’m wondering on a bigger scale, what have we really done? More to the point, what haven’t we done and what do we hope to achieve? Ignoring the vulnerabilities naturally occurring in any mortal species subject to death is a formula for failure. Imperfections, Vulnerabilities, Kindness, Love, Compassion, Sickness, Health, Death, Saviour. None of these words is in any COVID-19 response plan I’ve received.
Treat strangers like old friends. Open yourself to vulnerability. Call politicians by their first name. Ask for help when you feel alone. Ponder difficult questions. Speak up when you feel you are supposed to be quiet. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll all be okay?