As the severity of the novel coronavirus becomes obvious to more and more people, and as they begin to grasp the depth and duration of the changes in daily life that will be required of all of us, it is worth thinking about the need to protect and strengthen the social fabric on which we all depend. In fact, the changes are likely to be so profound that they provide an opportunity for a 'reboot' into a new 'operating system' better designed for our future than our past.
This snippet nicely expresses what I hope anchors our core values going forward:
"Someone once asked anthropologist Margaret Mead what she considered to be the first evidence of civilization. She answered: a human thigh bone with a healed fracture found in an archaeological site 15,000 years old. Why not tools for hunting or religious artifacts or primitive forms of communal self-governance?
Mead points out that for a person to survive a broken femur the individual had to have been cared for long enough for that bone to heal. Others must have provided shelter, protection, food and drink over an extended period of time for this kind of healing to be possible.
The great anthropologist Margaret Mead suggests that the first indication of human civilization is care over time for one who is broken and in need, evidenced through a fractured thigh bone that was healed."
As we deal with the pandemic individually, as families, as neighborhoods, as organizations and as nations, let us not forget that we are all in this together and will depend upon each other not just for comfort and happiness, but for survival.
The physical separation necessary to flatten the curve and control the pandemic does not require social isolation. Make the effort to stay in touch with friends, families, neighbors, and colleague. Check in. Help someone you know or someone you have never met.
The culture you build will be the culture we all live in.