By Ingo Plöger, Brazilian entrepreneur, President of CEAL Brazil.
We stopped! The pandemic forced us to distance ourselves and to go home.
We were at high speed! Moreover, our reality with fragile, vulnerable and life-threatening humans has taken us in to safeguard our homes, the place where we feel most secure and thus protect ourselves from contagion. With a strong limitation in social and personal interactions and contacts, we replaced gatherings and face-to-face meetings with distance communication through new technologies. Thousands around the world are limited to personal relationships in their homes with their families.
Virtual interactions help to overcome the distance, even though it is still a cold format to which human beings are not totally accustomed to! We continue to see each other at home, but more than that, we are suddenly looking with a disturbing intensity of ourselves!
Our interior scares us! We realize how much content has ceased to exist. Activities such as webinars, calls, conferences, audio books, films, after a certain time are exhausted, and there follows the inner silence that we are no longer used to endure. We hope that the end of quarantine announcements will happen soon, and we have already planned with family and friends how we will make up for “lost time” in meetings, gatherings and parties.
The inner silence that scares us grows.
We begin to discover how much content we lack, how much we fail to reflect on what is important in life. Even more so, when a pandemic takes a dear life, as it was in my case, the loss of my brother Alfried.
We started to realize that contents, and here I speak of values that were apparently obvious, and did not need further explanation, are no longer clear and seem to us to be diffused. Suddenly solidarity knocks on our doors frankly, strong and loudly, cries out, demands and asks.
Conversations start to change, topics get deeper, and conflicts or reflections become stronger.
The time before the battle, the fight, is the time that we feel endless. Reports from those who waited after the alarms went off, until the bombing began, said that the time was unbearably long. The time in the hospital, in the waiting room, until receiving medical information is unbearably long.
It is our time to wait until everything passes … endless … long and suffering … and with many doubts. How will we get out of this?
In biblical times, in many different situations, God made us stop, because we were traveling without purpose, and He appeared not in the storm or the earthquake, but in the whisper of the wind, in the immensity of the firmament, or in the depths of the sea. In fact in the internal silence.
Humanity will not be the same after this pandemic. The transformation will be enormous.
In order for us to understand what we will be facing, we need to reprogram ourselves. This reset takes its time, as in “our devices,” a time sometimes endless, because it restarts everything from the beginning, checking and replacing new priorities, and reviewing inconsistencies, looking for errors, and repositioning values in the ethics of the moment.
Will we have a “new normal” or are we searching for a “new natural”?
The “new normal” would be new patterns, new rhythms, new procedures, because this is what we know best how to do well. While the “new natural” would be to seek the answers, for the new healthy coexistence of humanity. It could be, for example, to take into account the minimum well-being of others; reduce the extremes of the social order; adapt lifestyle to the sustainability of the planet.
In a “new natural” where my freedom of mobility depends on the health of others, we start from a new understanding of the individual’s solidarity with his groups.
For the “new natural”, we will seek new answers, which will be born from a reset installed in this quarantine. The “new natural” will input new thoughts that will guide our ideas and ideals directing our actions. Our attention will be more shared than individualistic, we will acquire new habits, we will make new choices and we will have new preferences.
Let us wake up and realize that much of what we were doing will no longer be necessary, and discover what new needs will arise. This will imply new business models.
Will we be more:
‘We’ instead of ‘I’?
Spiritual or material?
Human or virtual?
Purposeful or form?
More natural or more consumption?
Home or Office?
Community or Sociable
Local or Global?
What will be your “new natural”?