Rahm Emmanuel, former Obama advisor and former Mayor of Chicago, is often credited with the saying “Let no crisis go to waste.” Winston Churchill, while working to form the United Nations after World War 2, was quoted as saying “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”
I imagine both of them meant that crisis gives us ways to do things that we were not able to do before.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are forced to change ourselves” is a great quote from Viktor Frankl.
Longshoreman/philosopher, Eric Hoffer said “Change occurs when the pain of the status quo exceeds the pain of change.”
The past year has changed so many perceptions and pushed so many of us out of our comfort zones. It would be a terrible shame not to make the best out of what we have learned. When we are asked why our Shepley wearables typically have “Attitude is Everything” on the left chest, it is because we believe we cannot change what happens to us, we can only change the way we react to what happens to us. Yes, that saying is strategically placed over the wearer’s heart. As humans we have been given the gift of rational thought and faith. It’s up to us to use those to learn and improve.
Over the past 18 months, we have learned how fragile our efficient and “just in time” supply chains really are.
Lean inventories only work with factories working at full capacity behind them. Now everything from shingles to stainless steel are in incredibly short supply. One missing component can throw a whole production line into neutral and that has happened over and over again. We are suffering delays in every part of our lives, from delayed shipments to waiting in line for service at a restaurant. The other day I had someone say “I am just sick of COVID excuses…I am just not accepting them anymore.” Well whether you accept them anymore or any less, they are often more than COVID excuses. They are COVID effects and some of them are unintended consequences of our very own doings.
We can’t pay people to stay on unemployment insurance when every business has help wanted signs out front. We can’t rely on distance learning for school children because it is proven pretty ineffective. We have to be very careful with packing ourselves into concerts and sporting event crowds. We have to agree on means of protection to keep from spreading COVID. We have to find herd immunity levels that inhibit the spread of COVID. We have to stop driving ourselves to distraction or even panic with unsubstantiated Internet stories. We should trust but verify and not simply fall for everything we hear.
We should practice remembering that it’s OK to admit we’re wrong, it makes us credible. We should work on getting along with others and with compromising instead of challenging. We should remember the famous quote from JFK’s inaugural address “Ask not what your country can do for you…ask what you can do for your country.” Well spoken, Mr. President. It’s not just about us, it’s about all of us. No better time to pull together. than after we’ve been pulled apart by crisis! Stay safe, stay focused, stay healthy!