When I was a kid, my family never missed an Easter service. Actually, since I was raised by a very pious mother, we never missed any Sunday really, but Easter was particularly important. I can still hear the hymns, smell the fragrance of white lilies which filled the church sanctuary. I remember the sermons with powerful messages of peace, victory and hope.
Today, on this Easter Sunday during our fourth full week of Covid19 restrictions, no matter whether you are as devout as my mom or not, this is a day in which we can certainly purposefully pause.
While medical, safety and other essential workers toil long hours and endanger their lives to save the lives of others, I’d like to share some thoughts about the aspects of self-isolation we can at least appreciate, if not quite celebrate.
1. An Appreciation of Reflection
As we are all shifting into a completely different way of working and living, I know I have mentioned this before in previous columns, but I sincerely want to emphasise how that especially during this time, journaling will provide clarity now and lasting impact later. It’s a great way to organise what can be an overwhelming onslaught of wide-ranging emotions and the very act of writing will distance yourself from their impact as you catalogue them on paper or a device.
Later, once we get through this (and we will get through this), and your sharp memories fade into patina, your journal will allow you to review. Perhaps you can apply a lesson from a journal entry to a team you will be working with or leading. Perhaps you will be asked to give a keynote address at a someday-again-please-Jesus corporate conference. The more vividly your journal entries are written, the more colourfully you can bring your stories back to life to best impact your audience.
In addition to writing – and reading now too – don’t forget to keep connecting to people. Reflecting doesn’t have to be a singular event it can also involve sharing and listening to the reflections of others as well.
2. An Appreciation of Renewal
The Easter story of resurrection, of course, arrives at the same time of nature’s spring rebirth. Even in self-isolation, we can appreciate the renewed blooming of daffodils, budding of magnolias and other flowering trees, melodic bird song and droning hum of bees.
Similarly, as American entrepreneur Mark Cuban described this past Wednesday, our careers or small business enterprises may be on the precipice of a renewal. The owner of the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team and Shark Tank TV show judge was speaking live on a video chat sponsored by one of my clients, Salesforce.
“This is a reset of unprecedented magnitude,” Mark explained. “It’s a challenge and it’s also an opportunity. Ask your employees or colleagues what they’re thinking about right now. The next great business idea might be sitting on the other side of that Zoom screen. Think about brand enhancement during these times. You can also come together with your competitors and share information. Imagine if all the PPE companies had come together before this crisis hit, we wouldn’t have the black market we do now.”
New innovations and even business cooperatives may come from this experience.
3. An Appreciation of Respect
From differing opinions on restrictions and policies to virtual chats about rumours and conspiracy theories, conversations can become heated more quickly during this time of continued confinement and concern. This applies to those of us seeking to reorder our business or personal finances. For instance, tensions may start to flare when the newly un-employed or under-employed are struggling to understand a governmental application or reaching out to a bank. When I called my own bank a couple of weeks ago, it took a full week for me to get a call back. But respect can and should be maintained.
“Always put yourselves in the shoes of the people you’re dealing with,” Mark advised. “Many bankers are confused too but over time the banks will understand this. At some point they will be there for you. Assigning blame accomplishes nothing.”
We all want to know that someone is nice. Nice will pay off in the long run. The customers or clients you may have lost now, will come back in due time. More so if you reach out and pay your respects. The power of human connection is more important than ever.
4. An Appreciation of Resilience
How are you using this time right now toward a spirit of growth, development, partnership and stamina? Are you using your business as a platform for change?
Strengthening your determination, positivity and focus will help you put your head down and get you back to working, virtually networking or strategizing. Even when you feel like you are falling, know that you can get back up.
As J.K. Rowling said, “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”
So, on this Easter Sunday, amidst the many difficult and quite heartbreaking moments all around us, there is still hope. Pause. What do you appreciate?
Write to Gina in care of SundayBusiness@independent.ie. With corporate clients in five continents, Gina London is a premier communications strategy, structure and delivery expert. She is also a media analyst, author, speaker and former CNN anchor. @TheGinaLondon