We are now deep in the bowels of lockdown phase 2. Phase 1 was all about denial; tearing around the place exercising, homeworking, cooking, feeding, cleaning, meditating, Zooming/Skyping/Teaming, giving, writing, responding, watching, listening, reading. On and on we did.   

The mood is shifting

7 weeks in, and the mood is shifting. Can you feel it too? We are moving beyond our own personal need for safety and control – trying to maintain life-as-normal – towards an acceptance of our collective vulnerability and humanity. We are beginning to look out at the terrifying consequences that this crisis is having on our economy and on people’s lives. The loss of income is now biting hard. Over a third of our population has gone to bed hungry in recent weeks. The myriad social consequences of hunger and deprivation are rising. Millions of kids are idling. It is a powder keg.

The reality is cutting deep

Vast scores of small and micro business owners – around 5 million to be exact, many in the informal sector – simply will not survive Covid-19 without serious interventions by both government and the private sector. Unless we all make decisions in the interest of the common good – to support one another flat-out once – I don’t believe we can begin to grasp the social fallout that we will face. What can we do now – during Covid-10 – that will enable people and small businesses to live and survive through and beyond this time?

Do for one what you wish you could do for all

Andy Stanley once made a statement that radically changed my thinking about the impact I could have on the world: “Do for one what you wish you could do for all.” This time is giving us all an opportunity to live this challenge no matter our circumstances; to move beyond the head space – what makes sense from a rational perspective – into the realm of hearts and hands, where we do for others – even just one – beyond what we ordinarily would. But in order to do this we need to think differently – beyond charity – and towards partnership and co-ownership in our collective future.

Our local pizzeria which has had no custom for 3 weeks, will go under soon. Yet I have saved R300 a week that my family would ordinarily spend on pizza. I will put R900 into their account as a pre-payment for pizza in future. The same applies to my hairdresser; our local coffee shop. A small homemade ice-cream business that produces a life-changing product and that is a standout employer in our area (www.scoopicecream.co.za) just received an order of way too much ice cream from the Foxtons.

Of course, not everyone can afford to do this and do for one what we wish we could do for all means different things to different people. That’s okay – do it anyway.

So, what can you do? Who is to your left and right, right now? Do for them. If we all did for one to our immediate left and right, we could survive this lockdown for months on end.

Do what you can for as many as you can.  

This article is sponsored by Partners for Possibility (www.pfp4sa.net)

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