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How to be a human that belongs in a post 2020 society:

By Peter Schmitt

31-03-2020

“A time of crisis is not just a time of anxiety and worry. It gives a chance, an opportunity, to choose well or to choose badly.” 

– Desmond Tutu

 

Nobody can argue with the fact we live in a volatile world, experiencing a severe crisis of meaning, morality, confidence, trust and, with the current pandemic, fear.

If we want to survive beyond 2020, we can no longer accept our past ideas about life and business as usual.

What we are experiencing now is the new normal.

The mess we’ve created started back in the 1950’s and was compounded in the 60’s and 70’s with the rise of individualism, selfishness and greed.

Up until the 1940’s, people saw themselves as connected for the common good, as part of something bigger and more important. We had an obligation to our collective societal future. Since the 1950’s, we’ve replaced that connected model with a new model of private profit – you do your best for your family, I do my best for my family and screw you!

By contrast, I’m starting to sense a rising tide of global collective consciousness. This was probably last experienced to a degree in the US after 9/11 and prior to that during WW2. For this, I’m grateful to the coronavirus pandemic.

Over the past week I’ve felt an overwhelming desire to check in with family and friends around the world. In chaotic and uncertain times a sense of connection is so important to human beings. Whilst many people are operating remotely it reinforces the fact that we cannot exist alone. We really do need these connections for our common good.

After experiencing a crisis in my life 11 months ago, I had a profound realisation of this obligation, need for relevant connection and belonging – I started waking up every morning asking myself two fundamental questions:

  1. Why does the world (my family, friends, my company, my community and society as a whole) need me? How essential am I?
  2. Why does the world need our business, unagency?

In other words, how does my life and my business existence matter? How do we contribute to a connected societal common good? If neither myself nor my business were around, would there be a vacuum? Would there be no difference? Or would the world be better off without us?

I suggest you try it for yourself. Every day for the next week.

Relevance to society is no longer a nice to have, or just for do-gooders. It’s a collective individual, leadership and business obligation. If by the end of the week you’re unsure, I recommend taking some time to reflect on what needs to change for you personally to become relevant.

I choose to matter.

Choose well

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