In recent times, there has not been any global event that struck with such stealth, speed, venom, and fear as has COVID 19.
The health and welfare of so many in the world has been shattered, gloom and doom pervades as reports of so many people succumbing to the deadly virus comes to light from countries far and wide. Companies have shut down operations resulting in unemployment rising exponentially, the jobless figures soars, stock markets have crashed, the financial institutions are under strain, and more countries have gone into lock-down, closing their boundaries and restricting people to their homes.
It is hard to see any silver lining to an event that has yet to play out its deadly course.
Yet, we need to ponder and reflect on how such events will shape our future.
We need to ask ourselves how we may all need to change our way of life, our values, relationships and see the world, people and nature in a different light.
Foremost in thought, must be how we will interact with people close to us, our family, friends, our neighbours, our country folks and indeed the world at large.
Too often, in the hurly burly of life, we do not find time for our family as we take them for granted – after all, we think, our main purpose must be to earn a livelihood to be able to take care of the needs of our family, and only after amassing what seems like a reasonable financial position, do we then think of spending quality time with them.
With aging parents and the infirm, we may think that there will be time to catch up. The forced isolation teaches us that destiny may choose otherwise.
We must seize every moment, every opportunity to show our loved ones that we care, and no amount of work or other chores should take precedence over caring for them.
COVID 19 has been non-forgiving and non-discriminatory. It has not looked at wealth, position, nation, village, status, and has chosen its victims with disdain for any contrived pecking order that nations and people have created over generations of existence.
It has leveled the wealthy with the poor, the disadvantaged with the advantaged, the sick with the healthy, the haves with the have-nots, and taken on a path of destruction that appears to have no quick end in sight.
The stock market crashes spiraling out of control should be a wake up call for all to realise that the unrelentless pursuit of wealth for its own sake, or for domination, or status has its downsides. The need to live within ones means should be a lesson for us all.
Peace of mind and the dog eats dog attitude of some that capitalise on the misfortune of others should not continue. Ethical and moral living must be the norm.
No longer should we have respect for those that merely pursue or have the monetary wealth without any social conscience. Those who have the wealth and do good for society, need to be respected. Those that scavenge and strangle others in the pursuit of their wealth must be chastised by society.
We need to take a long and hard look at how we are treating the environment and acknowledge that climate change is real. Whilst there are still so many that argue whether it is instigated by the actions of the human race or not, the floods, droughts, famines, intensity and increased duration of bush-fires, weather pattern changes require us to take whatever steps are necessary to reduce our contribution to the disastrous changes in the climate.
The need to look at increasing the use of solar, wind and wave energy to power our grids makes more sense in a world in lock-down, as solar and wind plants operate with minimal human intervention.
We all need to review the distribution of work, the distribution of opportunity and the distribution of wealth for all. Work should not be the prerogative of those with connections, or education levels, but a striving by governments to reduce unemployment to minimal levels.
A review of the working week and days for earning must be fast forwarded so that there is the opportunity for the currently unemployed to gain employment. The three day working week should be instilled in the workplaces so that the other two days can provide the opportunity for the currently unemployed to be part of the workforce.
Work should consist of times for earning and giving, and leisure and the pursuit of that which matters to one, seamlessly blending in the working week.
It is seven years since I began advocating for a change in the way we look at life and work and extol the benefits of working from home.
Today, working from home as a result of COVID 19 is a reality.
Today, finding ways to keep ones mind active during forced shut downs is the challenge.
Today, social media has enabled us to stay connected and work from home.
If ever there was a time for the world to look at new models of work and life, it is now. COVID 19 has pushed us to a new life paradigm.
Let me advocate for a world of change.
Let the 3+1+1=10 Earning, Learning and Giving Life Work Model that I embarked on in April 2013, be a challenge for the world to think differently of how work should be post COVID 19.
Quantum leaps of change come out of significant life events.
Let us not waste this opportunity to change the world of work and make life to be more meaningful for all.