The Great Disruption
If life were a George Orwell novel, 2020 might be accurately described as the year of the “Great Disruption”, although people have been affected in very different ways. Some have endured devastating loss, many have experienced acute anxiety and complete overwhelm. For the lucky few, the last ten months have merely bordered on the inconvenient. Regardless of our own personal experiences, I don’t think we can deny just how profoundly and permanently the events of this year have challenged many of the assumptions we held about how the world works and who it works for.
Although we may be looking forward to a different reality in the coming months, it is not likely that this will be the smooth and sudden return to “normal” that many people crave. Some of the changes wrought by the pandemic and its economic fallout will be lasting or even permanent and it may be years before we have recovered the sense of predictability and safety that we knew this time last year.
Resilience & Ingenuity
But, for me, this has also been a year of unexpected blessings and growth, and it is not the hardships that I will remember. Surprisingly, the most profound and enduring feelings I have are gratitude for the many new connections I made; affection for the many strangers who became friends and colleagues; and above all, an acute and somewhat unsettling awareness of just how privileged I am. All of this has left me with the vexing question of how I can personally be an instrument of change in our emerging future.
Still, beyond my own experiences, I have been amazed at just how resilient and agile people and businesses have been. To be sure, some did not and may not survive the disruption, and we have asked way too much of some people and way too little of others. But all around us, we watched as people found ways to reimagine and redesign; to pivot and upskill; to show up and create; even to MacGyver and Bootstrap!
Sunshine & Shadow
This extraordinary juxtaposition of growth and ingenuity amidst the “ruin” of our economy and conventional social order, reminds me of the unlikely reverence that millions of people have for the Hindu God of Destruction – Shiva. It seems odd to worship such a destructive force, until you understand that that, in the Hindu religion, the ruin brought about by Lord Shiva allows for rebirth, renewal and recreation.
It therefore seems fitting that we would recall the challenges we faced in 2020 while also honoring the insights, lessons and unexpected silver-linings which will help us embrace the “new normal” of our 2021 reality as it emerges.
If you would like to reflect on your experiences during 2020 and explore ways you can rise to meet the likely challenges that face us in the coming year, I invite you to join me for a highly participative guided visioning process:
Vision 2021: Creating an intentional path to the future
Saturday Jan 9, 2021 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
A guided virtual workshop via Zoom
After you register, you will be sent an email containing links that will allow you to access materials that will guide your preparations and a zoom link for the event itself. Of course you can also reach out to me with any questions you have about the journey and how to prepare for it. Please share this invitation with friends and colleagues!