What else is there to talk about these days? Coronavirus is dominating our media, our lives, and our thoughts. It calls up our greatest fear, our own mortality and the impermanence of things. It is VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity) on steroids. In this episode, I offer many different “lenses” on how I am looking at this virus and how I and others are responding to it.
I first call on people to make decisions based on the collective good rather than just their own well-being. We need to stop the meme “this thing only kills older people.” This kind of thinking is destructive and perpetuates a world that is built on the paradigm of separation and competition. If anything, this virus is showing us how connected we really are on this small planet.
I invite people to spend some time getting away from focusing on what we don’t want so we can individually and collectively focus on what we do want. Our ability to create is what makes us uniquely human. Spend time every day breathing and being present, and once you are in a state of calm spend time visualizing, hearing, and feeling a vibrant, healthy, and happy world. This has two effects: 1) it quells the anxiety that we are all feeling as the numbers continue to rise and we are told “it is only going to get worse.” 2) When we collectively focus on what we do want, we move the universe’s energy towards a vibrant, healthy, happy world. This is quantum physics folks. Where attention goes, energy flows. When we focus on problems, anxiety, death, worry we perpetuate this energy. It is up to each of us to see a different path forward. Spend time every day focusing on what you want. I am also putting a call out to people to see if there is interest in gathering at some specific day and time to collectively put our focus and energy on what we want. If you are interested in joining an online gathering, please send me an email at email@example.com.
I then call on continued compassion for our political leaders as they navigate a significantly complex and ambiguous dilemma. Yes, there is arrogance and failure from our president. Yes, many of us would like him to be more vulnerable and empathetic in the face of this. But when we hit him with hatred and disrespect we are doing ourselves a disservice. We need to find the space in our hearts to exercise compassion in the face of this. I believe this is a critical need right now, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day.
I then do an analysis of the failure of our leaders to effectively manage through this complex situation. I look at this through multiple frameworks:
-David Stroh’s model of “conventional thinking” vs. “systems thinking.”
-Balancing “polarities” of economic stability and public health
-Dr. Theo Dawson and Lectica’s identification of key VUCA skills, including perspective coordination, collaborative capacity, contextual thinking, decision-making, overcoming cognitive bias, self-reflection, and making use of feedback.