“Are we there yet?” could be the quote of the pandemic. The answer is no. The problem hasn’t been solved, although we continue to pretend it has. Just take a detour past your local food bank and you’ll experience an instant reality check on expectations. A visit to your local post office might offer a clue to what your workplace might look like if you ever return.
We stayed inside… for a time. And that eased the crisis in many ‘hot spots’ for hospitals and health care professionals. But then we got tired of ‘stay at home’. We saw folks venturing out and government leaders relaxing rules. But the problem hadn’t been solved. We’re still in the middle. Research into a vaccine is progressing, but testing still lags, and nothing has really changed from those early weeks in March. The virus is still out there seeking every opportunity to sink its ‘hooks’ into our various critical organs. What has changed is our belief that “we can handle it” – the reward far outweighs the risk – FOMO on career and life.
We’re not an ‘in limbo’ culture of humans. Uncertainty is not our strong suit. We avoid commitments that might exceed 200 pages or two weeks. We’re more at home at the movies where all is resolved in 90 – 120 minutes.
But, COVID. Our momentum slowed. It took a bit of time to adjust – to the quiet, the change in energy, the middle.
Here we are in a place with time to observe and reflect – an unscheduled leave of absence from our previous life – in the home of innovation and creativity. Yes, the middle is where imagination carves out our path to ‘THE END’.
A simple ‘construct as creative catalyst’ was provided by former Irish president and High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson at the Edinburgh Book Festival in 2019. Speaking on the topic of climate change (insert your idea) she suggested three steps:
‘Make climate change (or your idea) personal in your life.
Get angry and get active.
Imagine this world we want to hurry towards.”
Imagine the world we want to hurry towards – that’s what we do when we’re in the middle.
That’s why we’re here at the nexus of past and future – not to consider a ‘new normal’, but to invent the unimaginable. And that takes time – the time we have now, in the middle.