by Cdr. Bud Slabbaert
How serious can we take the various messages and forecasts about the post-pandemic era? In essence, many of them boil down to telling the audience that if their feet are numb, polishing their shoes is the ultimate solution, because it will reflect the sunshine. That can make some people obscenely loaded. Yet, others become profanely depressed especially in situations when they cannot afford more than wearing flip-flops.
Post-crisis predictions are often made by persons wanting to prove that they have a firm hold of the rudder, for an audience that hopes that there is ship attached to that rudder. If you ask me what I honestly think of all the prophesying? I’m hung up between Shakespeare’s “I’m not bound to please thee with my answer” or “Give thy thoughts no tongue nor any unproportioned act”.
What about pledges? What is a pledge worth of persons if it is essentially about themself? That is egocentric! How about pledges to help others who are in need? A pledge to actually and actively become involved, or taking an initiative that can have a positive impact on community or society? Enjoy today’s day but why not getting at it tomorrow and become a noble ‘Knight’.
A Knight was known for gladly sharing his resources and possessions with the needy. A Knight will give his last bit of food to a hungry person, even if he must go without food himself. Have you recently heard about any political leader or affluent business leader anywhere around, willing to donate some of his salary to help the needy in the community? I have not, but…, I may have missed something. Let’s count how many raise their hand. How come we have so few Knights nowadays. Too old-fashioned maybe for modern society? Still, many like to make others believe that they are a Knight by wearing the shining armor on the outside but lacking the spirit of chivalry inside.
Forget about becoming famous or popular. Forget about becoming a millionaire. I know people who are going after their second million because they were not able to make the first million. Why not pledge to just four things that are entirely realistic for one, and will make you the most popular person in the community and beyond:
Servant leadership: willing to serve others without a price tag attached to it
Kindness: being generous and considerate to others without expectations to get something in return
Humility: putting others ahead of yourself
Honesty: always being truthful; no falsehood, no misleading and no misinformation
Entirely realistic, unless…? Unless you lack self-discipline, excellence, loyalty, integrity, and perseverance. Talking about a passed tough twelve months plus period, the challenge to stick to these four pledges in the next months or longer may even be tougher.
Some useful advice for those who are claiming to be leaders and are considering making a pledge for the future. If the bottom is fallen out of almost everything but you, it is time for a new approach. Forces of change nowadays are requiring transformation at speeds not considered realistic before. Who leads in change will thrive. Others, only managing change, will not thrive but barely arrive. And the rest… will survive while suffering along the way.
Oh, you already have a plan? Congratulations! So do boxers when they enter the ring! They usually have a plan until they’re hit by a right hook punch. Or was it a left hook punch? I forgot. It can come either or both ways, I guess. Of course, one could just stick to old ideas like chewing gum to a shoe sole. The fact is that change is happening. Thus, you better intend to make changes to actively creating a new normal yourself, rather than passively waiting for a new normal that is actually already out of date by the time it arrives. Fortunately, I happen to know of an alternative solution for those who prefer a shortcut instead of going through the rough terrain.
On the island St.Tosia they sell “Docdoc Lizard Oil with Bull Sacrifice” for people seeking prosperity and financial advancement. I’m not sure if you can order it online and have it delivered at your place. It is extremely popular among spiritual stock market speculators. They are claiming that during economic turbulence, the brew has cured them of everything from depression to seizures by applying the potion behind both ears and then let it have its effect between the ears. This elixir that promises to cure where all else fails, comes in elegant boutique-style bottles with a little glossy black card hanging from a shiny golden ribbon at the bottleneck. It has just two words on it in gold embossed Trebouchet lettering: “Good Luck”.