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We are all little boat heroes these days.

By bird_lovegod | 25 March 20 06:28pm | News and Views

I’m feeling optimistic. If you think back, amazingly it’s not even three months since Christmas. So much has changed, and is changing. Business will change, people will change, society will change. And we get to decide what comes next.

What we choose to be as individuals is what we will become as a society. This situation is showing us who we are. I’m not a cartoonist, but if I were, I’d do a version of the classic illustration, where a child is asking their parent, ‘What did you do in the war?’ For all of us it’s a question of ‘What did you do in the corona crisis?’ If I could, I’d draw the parents, looking ashamed, with a stockpile of toilet rolls in the background. 

I’m feeling optimistic. There’s community groups popping up everywhere, as local as single streets, supporting one another. This localisation is a positive effect, communities are coming together and showing support for one another. 

It’s a fact of life that it’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do about it that determines the experience and the future. How we respond to the situation, as individuals, will determine what kind of society and culture we become for decades. Right now, as the storm blows around us, faith settles the waves. Faith brings peace, calm, comfort, security, the ability to weather the storm. 

One of the greatest acts of collective heroism of WW2 was the little boats, thousands of them, that repeatedly crossed the Channel under enemy fire to rescue our young men, our soldiers, trapped on the beaches. Hundreds of thousands of heroes made that day.

We are all little boat heroes these days.

When the storm rages, when a crisis strikes, we are given a gift. Now all of us are in the same boat, all of us offered the same gift. The gift of being able to show ourselves as who we really are. The gift of being able to be the best of ourselves, as individuals, the gift of being everyday heroes, in everyday situations, in how we think, how we speak, how we interact. 

I’m optimistic this situation will change us for good. I hope so. I’m optimistic this situation will help us align with nature, and bring us together as families and communities. I see it happening. This situation will open the doors to countless opportunities to re-create society in ways we know are kinder, more humane, more decent. More like who we are.

If you recall, this time two months ago the biggest problem we had was the unsustainability of our financial and commercial activities. The current situation is a full stop on the end of that era. We are all receiving the gift of the opportunity to change, to start again, to shape ourselves, our communities, our societies, in ways which are inspirational, meaningful, and real. There is no going back, we don’t need to go back, we shouldn’t try to go back. Our old way of life was a dead end road, we knew it as we travelled it, but we had too much momentum, we couldn’t figure out how to stop, how to turn around, where to go instead. We’ve been given the gift of stopping travelling in the wrong direction. We’ve been given the gift of being able to stop the unsustainable systems we were embedded in. We’ve been given the greatest gift there is. A chance, at a second chance.  

The answer is, and always has been. Love one another. 

The question is, what do we want to build? 

This article first appeared in the Yorkshire Post

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