If you have been venturing out into public to run errands, to shop, or to dine in or take out, you have probably become very familiar with these words: welcome; wait; watch; and thank you. Many times, these are posted on signs and placards on the building, in the entryway, or inside the store or restaurant.
Going to the doctor, dentist and veterinarian we experience the same thing. Our appointments are confirmed, we are welcomed into the office only after calling first to let them know we are in the parking lot, and we are asked to wait until they call us back letting us know they are ready for us to enter. We are greeted by a member of the staff who welcomes us again, and we watch as we comply with and maintain six-foot physical distancing. And we also watch to make sure others are wearing their masks. The staff expresses their gratitude for our compliance, and we say “thank you” when we leave.
Walking, jogging, riding our bicycle and any outdoor activity we may be participating in comes with the same expectations. We welcome the opportunity just to be outside. While walking our dogs we wait to make sure no one else is close or coming in our direction. We watch for other dog walkers, neighbors, joggers and cyclists heading in our direction. And then we look for a way to make sure that as we pass, we are at a safe distance apart, stepping into someone’s driveway or onto their lawn, while the others move into the street or at least the curb. Maybe we are wearing a mask, maybe not. Maybe they are wearing a mask, and maybe not. Yet as we pass each other we usually wave and say thank you to one another for making the effort to be safe.
We never saw this coming, but the transformation is coming and we should welcome it, wait before we react to it, watch for how others are coping and maybe even thriving, and be grateful for those trying to find a cure, working to protect us and risking their own lives to keep us healthy.
Many people have already gotten comfortable with the transformation that is changing the way we live, work, and play. Others are getting there, and slowly adapting to this “next normal,” understanding that it will be here for a while. And still others are resisting, holding fast to their rights and beliefs, while being defiant to rules they view as controlling and news they perceive as fear-mongering.
What a crazy time we are all living through right now. Transformation is coming. What it will look like next month or next year, no one really knows. But we can all agree, the world will be different, and things will have changed. Will the change and transition be easy? Probably not, it may get worse before it gets better. But I do believe that it will eventually get better. And it will get better faster when we can all come together as a community.
Kudos to those of us who have already transformed the way we live, work and play in a positive way, that is awesome. For those of us trying to adapt and adjust, let’s continue to stay the course, recognizing that change can be uncomfortable. And for those of us resisting, without compromising our beliefs, my ask is that while resisting we try and welcome new ideas, wait and watch what is happening in the world, and live with an attitude of gratitude for those who are attempting to make our communities a healthier, safer, and happier place to live, work, and play.
How about you? Are you already going through the transformation? Are you somewhere in between? Or are you still resisting the coming change? I would love to hear all of your stories at firstname.lastname@example.org and when we can welcome the change, wait before we react, watch how others are finding their way, and live with gratitude, it really will be a better than good week.
Michael Norton is the grateful CEO of Tramazing.com, a personal and professional coach, and a consultant, trainer, encourager and motivator to businesses of all sizes.
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