The famous late poet, memoirist and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou, is often quoted for…
“Energy, like the Biblical grain of mustard seed, will move mountains. A man doesn’t need brilliance or genius, all he needs is energy. Our energy is in proportion to the resistance it meets.” Hosea Ballou
This Karoo landscape illustrates much about a time when the world seems to be in recovery, seeking ways in which to renew energy after a tumultuous and testing two years.
The ‘renewable’ energy windfarm is in sight, yet a distance off; clear to the eye, but still too far to reach out and touch. What can be seen on the horizon promises a cleaner, healthier and kinder environmental future, if only it could be more easily accessed.
And so it seems to have been for many with whom I have worked during the first quarter of 2022.
Alongside increasing hope for normalcy; an excitement about virus and mask-free living and a strong desire to put the past behind us, I have noticed a general feeling of weariness and a desire to pause, rest and catch one’s breath.
There seems to be a global need to take time out before determining how exactly to negotiate and manage the most optimal post-pandemic future in a positive and sustainable way.
Taking time to check-in and engage with others during this time, I’ve gathered the following insights into what nourishes energy and well-being:
- Relationships are all there is; it is our relationships that craft meaning and weave purpose into our lives.
- Communication is key; without it we run the risk of constructing all kinds of castles, armies and battle lines in the air.
- Kindness costs nothing and gives all; possibly more in current times than ever before.
- Living fully in the now is really the only choice we have; there is no guarantee about what tomorrow will bring.
- The whole truly is greater than the sum of its parts; the strength of pulling together is virtually unbeatable.
- Courage – like happiness – is an attitude; it is available to all and is not unique to ‘the other’.
A recent medico-legal matter in which I was involved touches on and illustrates some of the power of these learnings.
The case revolved around a 38-year-old man who, after having moved to South Africa in 2017, was seriously injured in a trucking accident. One of his lower limbs was amputated as a result of severe crush injuries, with the other limb remaining functionally limited post-fracture recovery. The events around the accident were extremely traumatic; his functional ability dramatically altered and the opportunities for future employment considerably reduced.
Never-the-less, letting the client speak at his own pace and tell his story in a way that enabled him to do so without breaking down (as he noted he had always done in all prior recollections of the accident), gave rise to witnessing the most remarkable courage, as well as allowed insight into an employer relationship of tremendous kindness.
The combination of individual attitudinal strength and determination to ‘rise above’; societal support not required by law and making the choice to communicate openly in a trusting manner during the assessment, represent threads of what I believe will ultimately result in the ‘success’ of this man’s future – irrespective of the claim.
In other words, he has chosen to recover from his crisis using whatever he has, in whichever way he can – leaning into relationships; communication; kindness; living in the now; pulling together and doing so with courage.
To sum up, the question to be asked of ourselves is set out in an excellent article written by Chris Howard, Gartner Chief of Research, which reads as follows:
What will your future be? This crisis has created an opportunity to reset some of your goals and ambitions; it’s time to ask: “As we recover from this crisis, do we want to be different — and if so, how?”
Have a safe and happy Easter – Passover celebration 2022.