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I was born and I am living in Argentina, South America. No matter that, I have the opportunity to leave and work in other countries in Latin America and Asia, never in Europe (beyond that in Argentina we have a lot of people who from 1930 went from Europe, including today, most of them are our ancestries). With that said,people like me that belongs to Latin America or had the opportunity to live in countries in Asia I have to say: for us, norm-breaking is our way of life from the time we was born. In my personal opinion, and based on I lived in these month, general speaking this part of the world is the best "trained" to live in the pandemic (with exception of economics obviously). In fact, some countries in Europe and USA do not pay attention that we have other pandemics here that causes more dead people than covid-19: zica, chicunguña, dengue, others. Obviously, first world few times take into account the rest of the world. But this time, I think the first world will pay attention. Just returning to my country, Argentina, if you take data about people that was born here and they are leaders today in most of the well known institutions around the world you will surprise. Why? Because Argentinians, like other Latin America people, live with the unexpected, unplanned and impossible to imagine each day in order to survive.
What 2020 showed me is that my belief that a pan-crisis (of any sort) would help humanity to ignore petty differences and achieve greater unity was mistaken on the macro-scale but still possible on the micro-scale.
The lesson I learned is that tilting at windmills may be futile but if your actions create "some" net positive change, take heart from that.
Your powerful thoughts provide a needed and welcome contrast to way-of-life norms. In other words, it’s helpful to recognize/remember that “norm-breaking chaos” for one can easily be “life as you know it” for someone else.
Although it doesn’t negate the consequences and impact one is experiencing, it provides a “sanity check” for self-evaluation that should help balance the scale.
It makes me ask the question, “what does crisis breed?”
We hope that it produces positive change, such as innovation/creativity, opportunity, growth, altruism, and the like – to your point. Which we do see in-part when emotions are recognized, managed, and leveraged for their beneficial knowledge.
However, when one loses their battle to manage their emotions or refuses to engage in the struggle, they often surrender to fear. And when fear takes life’s steering wheel, it drives to a destination-unknown and seemingly picks up passengers along the way — the outcome: external chaos and internal anxiety.
I had to look up “tilting at windmills,” a new idiom for me.
I agree with Kiron
George, a woodsy Dan Daly quote comes to mind in approaching a business strategy, but that may fit the risk management blog a bit better. Said otherwise and less dramatically, the qualitative risk assessment gets an update.
For me the pandemic had and has rather positive impacts, as established structures and norms are being challenged and create an environment for change.
Sergio is right, cultures which live in a fluid environment already are more resilient than monocultures built for efficiency only. Latin America, but also Italy, Spain and Israel tend to belong to the 'culture of joy' according to Basanez. They also mostly do not prioritize a 'hard work ethic'.
Belief systems are challenged and put to test (though not disbanded yet) and in many individual cases replaced by plain human values like respect, compassion, community and humility. For example I saw the tone in zoom meetings is more respectful than in face to face meetings before. Or the many discussions of politicians and expert in Germany about the crisis are very helpful to gain vast majorities of support for lockdown measures and vaccinations.
So, as Kirn said, it depends on how everyone of us feels how it should become and take their baby-steps toward a better future. Abundance of money, technology, networking can be used to drive it, but patience is needed as is banding together.
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