In all these unsettling events, I have unearthed 3 gifts our times are providing me.
I’ll share them with you and would love to know your thoughts and what new gifts or opportunities have emerged for you during these times of such immense change and transition.
Gift #1: Belonging DOES Matter
- Seniors who are not only dying from COVID-19, but whose health is deteriorating from loneliness, which, in some cases, is leading to premature deaths.
- Some people who use substances or who are in recovery are struggling with social isolation during COVID-19 'stay at home' orders, leading to a significant spike in overdose deaths, far exceeding the death rate from COVID-19.
- Children and youth struggling with mental health issues leading to a huge spike in use of Kids Help Line.
We are social animals and hard-wired to connect. Building a culture of belonging is not just about holding hands and singing kumbaya. Belonging matters because it addresses a fundamental human need. When our needs for belonging are not met, it can literally lead to death.
Gift #2: The world as a mirror
- This week’s article about denial of a land title to Black Canadians in Nova Scotia discusses systemic racism as a factor.
- Missing and murdered Indigenous women is such a prevalent problem that a commission was formed and we still need to act on the calls to action in their final report: Reclaiming Power and Place.
- The alt-right and hate crimes are on the rise in Canada (30% higher than 5 years ago).
Gift #3: Getting crystal clear about values
Whenever I feel indignant or outraged, I use those emotions as a compass, showing me what values have been eroded in my community and world and hence what values I stand for. Those turbulent emotions and be a positive when I use them to guide, strengthen and recommit where I put my efforts through my moment-by-moment choices.
Below is an example of a value that has become crystal clear.
I believe those most impacted by any social problems are the experts.
- Putting together a series about addressing racism that showcases diverse experiences from people with direct and lived experience.
- Ensuring Indigenous and newcomer voices and leadership are supported in all my current projects.
- Sharing a series of social media posts about all the Indigenous leaders, scholars, and activists that have influenced my thinking.
I’d love to hear from you and learn:
- How have you noticed Belonging Matters in your life and our world?
- What in the news gets your goat (makes you feel outraged) and how is your indignation a mirror for what is happening in your own backyard?
- What values are more important than ever to you? And how will you put these values into action?