Story three –
The situation that we find ourselves in at the moment needs no introduction — ‘we are all in this together’ — is a commonly used phrase to describe the collective experience the globe is currently undergoing. The speed in which it has taken effect is both fascinating and scary. A statement that has stayed with me recently is, ‘Ten days isn’t a lot of time to change the world’ — but that is effectively what we have been forced into.
It has taken very little time to have many of the old layers and constructs stripped back to reveal very human, shared understandings of one-another that would otherwise have been hidden or under-valued. One example is how Coronavirus has changed our economic sense of the possible, what’s doable. I thought this quote was strangely pertinent, “Football is the most important of the least important things in life.” — Arrigo Sacchi, of A.C. Milan. I think in this circumstance we could replace football with ‘economy’ or, more specifically, our old construct of ‘economies’ and even our organisations. More important things right now might include (but not limited to); safety, health, environment, sustainability, society, shared bonds and hopefully, our shared spaces for forming these bonds, experiences and collective action — when the time comes.
It’s exciting to hear organisations starting to think more longer-term, holistic and sustainably; Universities thinking about reshaping their campuses to be places for connection and celebration; workplaces starting to imagine what centralised places can offer employees as a place to come together and create what they can’t do at home or through digital channels. Or even cities that will rebuild with not only health and safety at their core, but also sustainability, community and connection re-thought and re-emphasised.
The scale and speed of what is happening means many of us are still in shock and experiencing trauma, and will be for a while. Though, for those of us who aren’t qualified to help on the frontline, we can still be doing something for the greater good — we can get to work creating a better future. This time is a gift. A moment to pause and reflect. We really are in it together. In a way that we are still learning about. That is the strange and beautiful gift in this traumatic but transformational time.
This article was originally posted on Medium. Read the full article here.
Words by Leigh Whittaker
Illustration Jessica Watson
The historian Peter Hennessy recently observed that future historians will divide post-divide society into BC and AC – Before COVID and After COVID. It is in exactly this spirit that AfterCOVID seeks to celebrate how the world’s largest shared experience has given us the most extraordinary stories of what it means to live beautifully. Together, they are the clues to creating the future we all hope for.
FreeState is planning for a post-COVID future. Share your story with us – really, we’d love to talk. In the meantime, stay well.