This Time Differently

These are the times that try men’s souls.

these are the times copy

I remembered Thomas Paine’s famous words easily — that first sentence that so many, including you, may have read. But as I read further through Mr. Paine’s often-quoted pamphlet, The American Crisis (or simply, The Crisis) it was this sentence that struck me:

“What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.”

Such are the things that are dear to us that we now are going mad to protect: our families; our health; our livelihoods; our certainty.

But there are other things that are dear and of great value:

Compassion.

Ingenuity.

Sustainability.

Community.

Bravery.

Hope.

What would we do to protect these?

A few months ago, I was looking at a great unknown: could I at this point in my life strike out and take on new opportunities, do something else, be something different? I was excited and brash and unsure — so many possibilities and so many questions.

But now, as the need grows ever greater for help to ease the COVID-19 crisis and the tough times to follow, I have never been so sure as I am today of what I want.

winged_victoryI want to be a different leader; a part of something that can be a driving force, that helps the world rise up from the ashes of this crisis, and yes make this pandemic go away, but in so doing, do business differently; shape culture differently; influence minds differently.   It is inspiring how many businesses, big and small, are starting to rethink, retool, realign, in response to the crisis but also to the opportunity to shift (I’m an optimist) for the better.  In every interaction, I am thinking like this now — differently. We can be forced to change, or we can adapt.  If not now, when?

These are the times that try men’s souls.

How will this define us?

How can we define what comes next?

 

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