Today I want to talk a bit about the struggle that is creating on our pioneering, entrepreneurial journeys during the COVID pandemic. Here I am not talking about the doors temporarily closed, for example a collaborator that can’t operate due to the need to close to keep employees safe. Rather I am talking about the internal struggle to keep up the regular action required to continue the long trek forward.
Part of what is strange and difficult is building something when you have literally no idea what comes next. My inner voice tells me that it is good. What is coming is very good. We just have to hold on. But my brain looks around and says: “Why the heck are you taking action when you have no idea what is going to happen after this? No! For God’s sakes DO NOTHING! Watch Netflix, lull about, eat heavy meals, drink alcohol and fall asleep in your clothes on the couch.”
How do we find the wherewithal, the courage to build something in the face of enormous uncertainty?
I realized that my biggest fear beyond concern for family and friends is that things will go back to the way they were, and we will find ourselves here again – in this much more widespread, viral version of hurricane Katrina – COVID-19. The only way out of this loop is by building a better future together. And we’re it. There isn’t anybody else to do this except for ourselves. We are the ones who lay the stones down on a path to a future where people, in all parts of the country, have jobs that aren’t at odds with the environment, where we can feel proud about the goods and services our country produces, where our hospitals are prepared to take care of us in the case of a public health emergency, where our public health institutions are well-staffed and have well researched, well thought-out plans on the books to address a national pandemic that is right for Americans and our realities here, where we have strong, high quality manufacturing capabilities and people trained to produce high quality goods – that are organized to be ready to manufacture personal protective equipment, or ventilators or whatever tools to respond to what mother nature throws our way.
If we are not caring for loved ones with COVID or finding our strength to heal our bodies if we ourselves have COVID, or serving strangers with vital services – health workers, firefighters, grocery store attendants etc., if we are one of the people who can best serve our fellow humans by staying home, we must go into our hearts (conveniently there in the shelter of our homes) and find out what job we were given to do in response to the startling wake-up call we have been given.
I have heard several times during this crisis that our souls, alive together during the Great Global Pandemic of 2020, are here in this exact moment in time because we have a job to do, something to give to the world as we walk through this storm to the other side. Our jobs may be simple or complex, but they are certainly unique to us. I have struggled the past few weeks trying to figure out how I am supposed to contribute during this time. I am uncovering it as we speak. I believe I am supposed to grab your hand and together find the wherewithal to continue our quest to build for a better future. To believe in that future. To co-create it.
Go, fight, win.