It's officially been about 7-weeks of solo quarantine for me. [Don't worry! I have spoken with friends. I have Zoomed with family. I have been working each day as if I have a job - creating SOMETHING, helping SOMEONE, applying SOMEWHERE! I'm really okay. But...] Being in near isolation has given me the space to witness my thoughts and my reactions - which no doubt lately have really been directed toward what I see changing around me and around all of us. What do I want to see, WAIT, NO - what do I want to BE! - when we begin coming out on the other side of this?
So I thought I would share.
I hope that businesses come out on the other side of this more ethical + I will support more ethics focused businesses. There's definitely been this microscope on business right now and the choices that they make. Have you seen how some companies were bullied into returning their small business loans? Have you see how some businesses knew instinctively what do amongst the chaos that ensued when this first started? Ethics was under a microscope. People vs. profit is under a microscope. I hope that brands who's lack of ethics may have been highlighted by this virus, use this as a learning experience to fuse more ethical treatment of everyone from employees, to consumers to their own communities. I will proactively be more conscious of "voting with my dollars" for these businesses - starting some chicken fingers from Shake Shack. However, on that note...
I also hope to rebalance my support for both big and small business - and I hope to rethink what is going into the "price of goods". My business owner light went on when the world was discussing layoffs and charity. In an ideal world, no one was laid off as a result of COVIDs impact to business. In an ideal world, businesses were making charitable donations to care for anyone who needed it. While it was the ideal, not every business is in the position to give. When it came to layoffs, where is this money suppose to come from to hold onto that many workers when - in the extreme example of Disney Parks - your business has come down to an absolute 0? Businesses don't always (big nor small) operate on extreme margins where they are stockpiling profits enough to guard against something like COVID has been. What plagues small businesses plagues big business right now, it's all simply scaled. Small businesses will help your community, big business can help a nation - both are crucial, especially right now. Maybe the future ability to care, to engage in charity, to care for employees ethically, to have the necessary resources to drive change, is worth the extra $100 bucks I'm complaining about paying on my Disneyland pass. Maybe in the future, I stop thinking about whether or not I can get something cheaper online than that boutique shop downtown and I begin to see what's going into that price tag is more than just the cost of goods sold. I hope I'm more understanding, I hope that we are all understanding - and not as critical of business just by their size.
I hope to have appreciation for slowing down and simpler entertainment. I hope that I re-define my perfect moments. I keep feeling this warm, nostalgic feeling of the early 90s, where as a kid, I used to play outside, ride my bike, rollerblade, take walks, the popsicles my mom used to make out of juice in those molds from Tupperware. I see people outside, I see more families together. I see people prioritizing connecting with their families. Get-togethers, barbecues, board games, togetherness. I see people planting gardens (like the one my Dad had every summer - sidenote: I totally took a break from typing this post to plant my own...). Where along the lines did how we use our time get to be so competitive? (...social media...cough...) When did we stop feeling like the "things" we grew up valuing, these simpler times, were not good enough? I hope that going forward I force slowness. That I too, stop feeling the need to constantly "go" and take the time to do simpler things. Starting with keeping some plants alive. I hope that connection and togetherness, those things we wanted so badly in quarantine, are prioritized over the "where" and "what" we are doing.
I hope there is an increase in remote work. I hope there is more flexibility for the people and cities (like pollution free LA right now...) that really need this. I know this can be balanced in and have it's own benefits. Maybe this could even close offices and open up real-estate for more homes and idk... maybe help the cost of living drop a little?
I hope there is greater care at the community level. Since COVID is so regionalized, I have been hyper tuned into my community ongoings - the people, the donations needed, the businesses. I have since attempted to foster a dog and made donations to the animal shelter in my city and have been watching for opportunities to help out. With so many "negative" things that happen in this community and communities all over - it's really nice to play a more active hand in supporting the community - and I hope that I continue to get involved and this level of care for community matters extends far beyond COVID.
I hope there is better care for our environment and bigger awareness around how our daily, busy, always-moving lives affect the environment and other species among us. It has been WILD watching the dolphins swim closer to shores of our beaches, the pollution clear up over the city of Los Angeles, the wolves around our National Parks, among other cited rebalancing of nature that we see happening right now. I hope to maintain some higher level of respect and take measures that show a greater care of our world and the world we will be leaving our future children,
I hope there is a VERY HARD and DEEP look at our systems which perpetuate this very quick moving, technologically driven life and that it begins to be rebalanced with better focus on earth and the people in it. Being and working in such a technologically-driven field that marketing, social media and entrepreneurship - I can't NOT have appreciation for some of the amazing things that technology has brought to our lives. Technology will always have an upside - but I hope we start asking ourselves "at what cost?". Our lives are moving quickly and there is much to do - but at the cost that we as a collective are less present and aware of what is going on around us. Our lives at technologically driven, but at what cost if it continues to drive division between socio-economic classes? I hope just as much of our focus is going to solve the issue of "COVID" that is physically and quickly killing our livelihood, that we also turn with just as much attention to these smaller issues that are more slowly and quietly killing our livelihoods.
I hope there continues to be better focus on our individual health and healthcare system. Mental and physical. I hope we pay attention to how we treat our bodies, the kind of food we give it, and how that affects our ability to really LIVE. I know that this virus, like cancer, did not discriminate. But are we giving our bodies a fighting chance? Are we being mindless or mindful about our health? This is not about cupcakes vs. salads, but about finding more ways to make sure those decisions around what we eat and the effect it has on such invaluable things like immunity became during COVID. I hope there is greater motivation for us to take better care of our health and the health of our loved ones. I hope our "healthcare systems" are more holistic and include everything from doctors and nurses who care for our body when it's sick, but also trainers and nutritionists who optimize our body when it's well.
I hope there is a reduction on my reliance on technology to replace human interaction. I started COVID thanking God for Facetime, Zoom and social media for allowing me to stay close to my family. SIx weeks later though, when Facetime and Zoom are all we have, Facetime, Zoom and social aren't enough. I have made efforts to put the phone down around friends and family - but I believe when this is over, the phone will put itself down. I hope it's easier for us to make time for one another off technology - however, I hope to use "face time" more often when that's just not possible.
I hope there is a greater understanding of the consequences our actions have on other people and our environments. As part of my "life's lessons" I had to learn the opposite is true. I had to stop letting the fear of the consequences of my actions on other people "rule" how it is that I lived my life. I have come to feel personally that when it comes to coexisting with other humans, it's more important for me to infuse a radical sense of awareness, my belief system but also ethics. What has made COVID so unique is that it created this hyper awareness that our careless actions could so easily physically harm another person. But that's also true in so many other circumstances. Like we are existing in COVID, there has to be awareness ("I could have COVID and never know it." "I run the risk of potentially spreading this if I choose not to wear a mask"), our belief system ("I have free will and am in control of my own actions"), but also ethics ("this could potentially kill or harm another human.") Outside of COVID, greater awareness, beliefs and ethics can build more kindness, which would hopefully spill into so much more....
What we do with our lives always has far greater consequence than our lives alone.
I hope to be quicker to lend a helping hand because there is a greater understanding that we are not just in "COVID" together - we are in LIFE together. And life is hard. It's beautiful - but it's hard. I don't know if you will ever convince me otherwise. There are always highs and always lows. The unique thing about COVID is that we are all mostly experiencing some kind of LOW, which makes it easier to empathize when we all feel the same. It doesn't mean we can't extend that same realization - that life is highs and lows - when it stops being COVID we are fighting.
What are your hopes for the New Normal? Share + tag me, I want to be inspired!