Mapping Effective Covid-19 Engagement: Four Responses to the Challenge
Together, we can create an image of the future that is both compelling and realistic. This would be an image that is saturated with both consideration and compassion. We hold the opportunity in our hands at a global table to create an image of the future that embraces all societies in our world. We can create this image while addressing the immediate COVID-19 challenge. With this compelling image in place, we might be able to not only preserve our local and global societies, but also enrich them.
It is not uncommon for us to live (at the back of our minds and hearts) in a world that may no longer exist—if it ever did. On the one hand, we know that this world doesn’t exist in the 21st Century—and certainly not in our era of COVID-19. On the other hand, we envision a world that is filled with men and women of vision, courage and wisdom. We don’t differ in this regard from men and women who lived at much earlier times. The Greeks of antiquity, for instance, believed that their myths were the “realities” of a previous time in their history—when Gods acted upon and in the world and when exceptional women and men (called “heroes”) lived in the world. Then one day, according to many Greek writers (such as Homer and Sophocles), this Golden Age came to an end. The Greeks were left, as ordinary men and women, to live ordinary lives and reflect back through myths and ceremonies on this previous world of Gods and Heroes.
It is important—perhaps essential—that we recognize the fact that this same perspective exists in 21st Century life. We must acknowledge, like the Greeks before us, that we yearn for a certain type of leadership—and we often find ourselves disappointed in our leaders. They are, after all, only human. They are neither Gods nor Heroes. At other times we are profoundly thankful for and appreciative of these leaders—in particular during moments when these leaders are truly heroic as they face and engage (with wisdom, courage and vision) the challenging world of 21st Century complexity, unpredictability, turbulence and contradiction—particularly as manifest in the COVID-19 crisis.
In moments of appreciation, we recognize that there have been times when each of us has been heroic. Golden Yellow, Ruby Red and Azure Blue are to be found in all of us. And there are times and places when we and others around us when each of us has risen to the occasion with a Rainbow of reflection and action. We should keep this appreciative perspective in mind when convening our local organizational or community table or convening a global table. There is no better time than right now for each of us to engage the best of whom we are as we face the challenge of COVID-19. May a Rainbow rise for each of us from the pandemic storm.