As panic takes hold of our countries and our economies (stock market – 40%), it would be wise to reflect on the fragility of our world. How we got there and what we can do to grow up? Everything that we took for granted is now put under mort-gage (from French death under pledge), figuratively, but it’s high time we take it as well literally. It will soon be time to think about how we will “spring” back for good. That means to sow the seeds of the world we want to harvest. To start, and this is the great lesson of this crisis, through the relationships we have with ourselves and with others. Without forgetting our “savings” both literally and figuratively. Some lines of thought, lots of metaphors (to change), don’t hesitate to comment.
A system so fragile that at the slightest cold it collapses.
Nissim Taleb spoke of the black swan as the unlikely event that no one sees coming and that can challenge an entire system. In his next book, antifragile, antifragile, he spoke of the measures to be taken to overcome these eventualities: building systems, not robust, but fragile ANTI, that is to say that come out reinforced by the shocks given by these famous black swans (these events “improbable” but yet very present). How? By building redundant, flexible, learning systems. Bull’s eye. Here we are (again for those who forgot 2008). So will we learn the lesson forgotten in 2008? Shall we strengthen our immunity and flexibility? Or wait for the storm to pass, pick up our dead and pretend it’s just a fate? Wasn’t Ebola or H1N1 a wake up call ? Apparently not. And this is where the problem is. This crise, we could have anticipated it, like we should get prepared for the ones to come. Bill Gates in 2016 was already giving a talk about it.
So what can we do?
Many things, but before we go to the prescription, let’s try to make a diagnosis on the “bad to say”, the “disease”. And I’m not talking about a breath-taking virus. Or the makeshift remedy, house arrest of humanity, this is a (symbolic) consequence.
The problem is to have forgotten the most fragile (this market in China is not Fauchon), the “invisible”. And here they are contaminating us. Selfish that we’ve been for so long.
These forgotten, it is not only Chinese workers who create most of our consumer goods (including our computers to stay connected to each other). These are also under our noses, our “surface technicians”, our supermarket cashiers who risk their lives to feed us, our abused farmers and of course our caregivers (doctors, nurses, our hospital staff). In a hail of months, they who peed in violins, here they are commandeered, good soldiers corveable at mercy. Let us be reassured, we will give them a medal if they do not have the credits they have been asking for for a long time. Listening to the French president speak on TV about “health that is priceless” I remembered the reforms of the health system to “profitable” it: bed closures, consolidation of care in large centers, closures of “small hospitals”. The disease of counting everything, and when the disease is there we no longer count. Again, the Wuhan, the periphery, came crashing into the center of Milan, Rome, Paris, Berlin, New York, tomorrow London. Growing problem as the periphery against the center? Did the Internet seem to decentralize us? He concentrated us collectively while deconcentling us individually.
The example of the network of networks
Since we are talking about the Internet, and this crisis shows its beneficial usefulness for a humanity lacking in connection, let’s look. The Internet was created to respond to a strategic mencae (a strike on the army’s command systems). To escape this problem, the ARPANET network (the internet agency) was created as a redundant and decentralized system. And by the way funded by the American state. Then? Decentralized system less fragile than centralized? More expensive? Perhaps. But more expensive than what? It depends on the price you attribute to happiness and well-being. And here we are at the heart of the problem. The money.
We at Face to Face Marketing teach sales. Money is not a taboo, but we also remember what money is. A means of measurement, not the alpha and omega of our lives. A means put in place to facilitate exchanges and
(before it was the razias). This implies the concept of fairness. Have we not confused the means with their end? Is our world fair?
Let’s look across the Atlantic, in the U.S. 30 million people without health insurance. So many potential sick and propagators of a virus. How much will it cost to leave them on the tile? Dear, and not only to them, to others who thought they were “covered”.
What should put on top of the money? Human life, perhaps? So when this crisis has passed, perhaps it will be time to think about our taxes, our land use, special interests vs. collective interests, our economic operations, our businesses, and what we want them to do. Use.
I take the example, before our eyes, of our doctors, our nurses, our caregivers, little ants of our health, without whom we could not live our economic lives and our lives at all. Do we pay them to the level of what it allows us to accomplish? If money is an energy (we speak in English of currency, a current) circulate in the right place and in the right way?
Again, now that we are forced to stop being “pressed” to the juice we produce individually and collectively. Think about all those “invisibles” like this virus. Let us think of our nurses, the hundreds of thousands of homeless people on our streets, our working poor and ask us if we want to continue like this and make this crisis just the beginning of a long series.
Go back to prison at home, don’t go through square one, don’t take 20,000 francs.
I hope you’ll think about it. Because what happens to us here is simply to be sent to prison. All of us, collectively AND individually. No more outings, curfews, no contact between “prisoners. Cut off your TVs, internet for a while (finish reading me first and then think).
If it drives you crazy, it’s because you’ve been out of touch with yourself for a long time. No wonder in these societies of permanent distractions, glued to our phones. For some, consignment is more painful than evil.
Perhaps, like all the great men who have known prison (Mandela, Malcolm X) should take the opportunity to focus on ourselves. Reconnect with our essence, with time, art, music, readings, instruction (parents know what I’m talking about here), our friends, our loves, our relationships, those we’ve missed, those who really matter to us, and leave silence on our squares and in our streets.
You’ll be deprived of relationships!
I wish here that as prisoners, each of us will take the time to reflect on his life and SES relations (since we are deprived of it) and return to the world more caring, more empathetic, taking into account in the daily race the weakest of us.
For this is the extraordinary part of this crisis. We’re deprived of relationships.
We sometimes felt like we were preaching in the desert, talking about face-to-face relationships. In our workshops, it is not just commercial relations that we are talking about. It’s human relations (including commercials). How they are born, how they grow, but also often how and why they die. It is the lack of empathy that often kills them. And maybe this is the lesson to be learned.
The world that will be reborn tomorrow will depend on the mourning we make of the one who comes from (or should?) die
A few years ago I attended a seminar in San Diego called “The Enrgy Project” on energy management in our lives as entrepreneurs, parents, companions, friends. There was talk of exhaustion, brown out, life and death, and mourning.
I read right to left, that the world just made a huge burn-out. And the “depression” (economic announced) that will follow. Some will be angry – and there is something, others sad, others in denial, others will haggle, finally we will accept (I hope) that this world is dead and another will have to be born. Some will recognize here the 7 stages of elizabeth Kubbler-Ross’s mourning. And to invoke here Viktor Frankl survivor of the death camps who spoke to us of the desire to live, for the beautiful.
Perhaps we will decide that our “savings”, our euros, our dollars should be used to buy us the beautiful (and the good) in our lives, individual and collective. And by the beautiful, I’m not talking about a Louis-Vuitton bag, but a healthy world that takes care of each other.
Biblical hints are rising in me right now, and yet I am not a believer. I remember just two sentences: who sows the sale reaps the storm. What have we sown? Or what do we not sow so that our mental constructions (economy, finance, “entrepreneur), “impact”, “start-ups”, “uberisation”) are so fragile that they get flut like this?
The Internet had been created to share intelligence, not stupidity
And I see here or there the vultures (or the desperate for success) throw themselves at the opportunity to make one euro more, because afraid to make one less, to embark on the online appointments, not to stop their crazy race. We are sent home by our governments, like sick people, but we take our files with us, we do not question our lives, it is business as usual, but online.
I will not throw the foundation stone, we ourselves transfer our training programs online, but I ask the question: what would happen if the Internet was cut off tomorrow?
What if we were REALLY cut off from each other? That would force us to look inside us. And maybe it’s (surely) necessary.
So instead of rushing to digitalize our lives, perhaps we should use the tools of digital to participate – online today – in the life we would like to see born tomorrow.
Challenging yourself inside to change the exterior
I encourage you who read these few lines to ask yourself the question of the meaning of our lives, of our societies, of the place it offers and leaves to everyone. To look at what is at stake today: our expensive prisons paid (real estate parks), our links with the Internet, the use we make of them, our relationships in our homes, husbands, women, children, our elderly, our most fragile.
Wouldn’t this be an opportunity to give a fair measure to all this at a time when we are closing schools, but not the scholarship?
Wouldn’t this be an opportunity to meet when everything is passed to build ENSEMBLE us who will long be separated a better, fairer world, which deals with strengthening the weakest link, rather than promoting strength, wealth (all millionaires eh?).
Because as we said: we recognize the level of humanity in a society, the way it treats its weakest. So I hope that the measures we take here to protect each other, will be erected as a maxim “never again”, never again will we let particular selfishness and the race for “success” and money endanger what these why means are made, we bring each other towards more happiness, and these go through the way we treat each other. To quote another unknown biblical passage “you’re going to love each other (shit brothel!)”.