Normal is a Mindset
Every generation has adapted, always. Now we all need to do it together.
Centuries ago, no one could have imagined a wall that followed the spine of mountains, for hundreds of kilometers. It was not a "normal" thing to consider.
Then, it was there. THE Great Wall.
For the people who saw it, at first it was "abnormal", an assault on what they contemplated was possible.
Time went on. Empires changed. New generations were born. The wall went from bizarre to "normal".
Photo: © Kirby James
Time went on some more. Innovation continued and again
and again humans met something "new" and "weird" and "abnormal", only to have it become familiar and common.
As forecast by many great thinkers, it feels that our pace of change is accelerating.
So, that must mean new "abnormal" circumstances arise often.
Our ability to "normalize" these changes is in fact a sign of discipline, resilience and adaptability.
Now, with the Covid pandemic raging world wide, our sense of "normal" has been challenged immensely, all at once and all together. Virtually no corner of earth and humanity is untouched.
Yet there was a time when previous pandemics and epidemics raged as well. Polio, Scarlet Fever, Mumps, Measles ... and all became NORMAL in time. Denial made no difference to a virus or bacteria. The ability of humans to adapt our mindset made the difference.
We invented technologies, discovered scientific insights, created prevention and treatment.
That pattern of identifying, understanding, creating and responding is normal.
Our ability to shift our mindset, to see and accept that "normal" has changed and then respond by adaptation is progress. It is survival, in the best sense. Rather than hunkering down hoping the plague passes us by, learning a new normal sets us free from the anxiety of waiting for "old normal" to return.
Like someone we have lost, "old normal" is gone.
It's OK to mourn it. To wonder what "new normal" will be. For those that like to plan ahead, contemplate what the tectonic changes we see everyday will mean.
Consider events of just this week:
It seems the major movie studios have thrown theatres under the bus by announcing first run movies will stream when released. What?
SpaceX (yet again) does something astounding, flying its Starship in an astounding flight that includes a 10,000 foot belly flop reminiscent of the space shuttle and almost sticks the landing. Back at the Boca Chica ranch, SpaceX has prototypes 9 through 11 almost ready to go! Meanwhile, a traditional company like Boeing is still trying to get their rocket into the air, maybe in a year or so.
A Covid vaccine is approved for emergency use, with technology that has the potential to make many of the world's worst diseases no longer a scourge. mRNA technology is not just about addressing the Covid pandemic, that same technology theoretically has uses for influenza, the common cold and a host of other viruses.
We witness astounding actions, words and it feels like the planet is un upheaval!
So let's normalize this together by embracing aspects of our new normal:
Yes, Covid has accelerated dramatic business decisions like expanded use of ML (Machine Learning) and thousands of small and large factors that affect our lives. Working from home looks to have real possibility going forward after the pandemic. Yup.
Yes, political divergence is happening everywhere. Diplomacy that searches for the middle ground is giving way to more polarized politics. Again, yup.
We are collectively sitting on more cash around the world than ever before, while there is more income disparity, debt and financial ruin than seen in many generations. So disjointed and true again.
All of that is a NORMAL outcome of our collective situation. Wanting some or lots of it to go away is again a normal reaction for some people, yet does not stop it from happening. More than that, a disdain, dislike or refusal to accept what it affects our ability to adapt.
Individually and together we have immense power when we develop a keen interest in adapting, responding to and making the most of "new normal" situations.
"Fortune favours the prepared mind" a quote attributed to Louis Pasteur the famous microbiologist who created the "germ theory of disease" and gave us the concept of vaccination.
Well, making a choice to be open to adapting our mindset is where to start. Then, when faced with an every and faster changing world, the door to good fortune opens wider than resistance, denial and attempts to rewrite reality.