The pandemic has disconnected us.
The world has disconnected human and social relations, but confinement has intensely connected personal relationships at home. There was a reconfiguration of very intense family relationships in line with brutal social distancing. The technological bridge overcame social and professional distancing by means of a virtual relationship.
After months of isolation, we started to go back outside in different ways, on the one hand people with fear, obeying protocols, and on the other, people who went to the streets to demonstrate in favor of freedom, economic recovery, as well as their opposition to violence, racism, discrimination, climate, etc., demonstrating the censorship of protocols. We need to understand how these behaviors have reconnected us to the world again.
We were connected, they disconnected us.
We started a mindset reset; we want to reconnect to the ‘New’ 1). Moreover, what we find is a world full of ambiguities.
The ambiguity of contrasting or opposite valuations or attitudes have always been part of our lives. People find it difficult to live with ambiguities, they do not want to be wrong, but they need consistency, and to maintain reliability. New relationships at home and in professional networks do not always show up in a coherent, logical, systematic, orderly and transparent manner. If they are contradictory, in opposing, diffuse options, with different logics, we need to make an option for one side, because our nature is to be consistent in order to be credible. At the same time, we want results and successful relationships, R-R. Living with expectations of success at home and at the office, relationships grew exponentially and, to achieve happiness, we rely on feelings and symbols of happiness: Purposes, Meanings, Motivations and Achievements.
When taken by surprise by this symbiosis, which dismantles our expectations, relationships now focus exclusively on the home and puts the RR of home and office in an unbalanced state.
From one day to the other, we are taken apart from the usual office relationships and enter this relationship via home, where the relationship from home becomes real and the work one becomes virtual. If in our office, we were evolving in our personal networking and increasing the degree of freedom, autonomy and self-realization, at home we are experiencing another reality, less autonomy, greater vulnerability and less recognized self-realization. Insecurity is placing trust at stake, what happened before will never be the same again, and what will come next is unknown: both at home and at office.
We realized that we are disconnected from what gave us security and confidence.
Meanwhile, “out there” ambiguities only grow and force us to take unwanted positions.
Insecurity broke the support of confidence. It is necessary to seek a new basis to build trust in the “New”.
Esther Perel, in one of her recent lectures on Power of Relational Intelligence, says that the reassembly of trust takes place in the process of Harmony – Disharmony and Repair, or in Connection – Disconnection and Reconnection. It shows that the new balance of the Relationship starts from a new confidence acquired by the breakup and its subsequent reconnection 2). The search for new confidence stems from the loss of security in the past, such as employment, non-violence, equity, and the countless opportunities. Our personal and institutional life has been regulated by rules, structures, procedures (perhaps too many) that gave us security and that suddenly seem to lose their validity. The common feeling of loss of essentials of R-R happens at all levels, personal, institutional and government. These essentialities such as Power and Control, Care and Proximity, Respect and Recognition, will be redefined in personal, social, economic and political spheres in dimensions not yet seen.
When we leave the house to reconnect, we do not know how we will find the office.
What happens to people also happens to companies, governments and the economy. In the scope of society and the economy, we left Industrial Economics to become Service Economics, and now it seems that we are entering the Economy of Identity, which we do not know yet, we just foresee and still need to idealize. The enormous challenge of this Identity Society or Economy lies in the ideas of the options, which today appear not only ambiguous but in opposition. We have state capitalism (characterized by China) and liberal meritocratic capitalism (characterized by the USA) and the different shades between them. For people with strongly prefixed ideas, there are only options based on one or the other model; others more open, seek in ambiguity the paths of the best alternatives, maintaining the oppositions as creative complementarity, and living with ambiguities actively. In this antagonism we experience radicalism, violence and, at the same time, altruism, personal giving and human solidarity. This counterpoint is described by Jonathan Salk, in his New Reality, as the turning point between the groups of the old and the new 3).
The difficulty of accepting ambiguities is reinforced by concepts that take root in the mindset of more fundamentalist groups and their leaders, which the economist and Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman, describes in his recent work Arguing with Zombies, where he shows the risk of fixed ideas, or “zombie ideas,” that proliferate in the most diverse spheres 4). The radicalization and the consequent division have attractions of its simplicity and the understanding of the size of a Tweet (understanding, accepting and uniting adversities and ambiguities do not fit in a Tweet).
The most likely outputs will be less global, digital, more unequal and more antagonistic. In the short term, they will favor those who share and not those who unite.
Cold War 2.0 scenarios, Capitalist antagonisms, Alliances between Powers, will compose a new world more divided between one or the other, rather than one and the other.
Our challenge is to keep an open mind to new options, even if they are antagonistic, and to believe that in complementarity and diversity we will achieve innovative paths never navigated before. At the same time, developing responses to challenges that we have never seen before, with ethics and solidarity, conquering lost trust.
The new interdependence between home and office will constitute a diversified New Relationship to obtain unexpected New Results.
When you jump in the dark, let your mind have an open parachute, as it will work better.
2) Esther Perel; The Power of Relational Intelligence, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObtmLBOfIRM
4) Arguing with Zombies – Paul R Krugman, Economics, Politics and the fight for a better future, WW Norton Company