People are good.

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Humans are funny old things.

On the one hand, we are pretty non-compliant. We tend to, largely, not really go along with what we are asked to do, and we are even less likely to do what we are told to do. If that weren’t true, there would be no need for police, or even laws for that matter.

But we are also capable of tremendous solidarity, and following rules, and even going beyond what our rule makers say, and doing more than we are asked to do.

People make mistakes

OK, yeah, there were far too many people on Bondi Beach the other day, and there was seemingly zero social distancing happening there. That was dumb. And it probably won’t happen again now.

In the last couple of days, though, there has been a shift. Have you felt it? Suddenly, this pandemic is being taken seriously. All of a sudden, people are isolating and quarantining, and it feels like a punch up over a packet of toilet paper is suddenly a lot less likely.

Humans, non-compliant trouble-makers that we are, are also capable of great kindness, and community. I have been really encouraged by it, and I am even more hopeful now that when this is all over, we will all be changed forever, and in a really positive way.

Leadership in short supply.

Unfortunately, yet again, it seems that leadership is in short supply. At least from those people we have elected to lead.

But not all leaders are in charge. The people stacking the shelves at Coles through the night. The nurses, doctors, and allied health practitioners working on the front line in our hospitals. The cleaners, the caterers, the checkout operators, the teachers. The mums and dads who are, now, teachers. People working on welfare crisis lines and suicide hotlines who are experiencing unprecedented demand, and doing hours and hours of overtime, most of it unpaid. And everyone else who has made the very difficult decision to close their business’ doors, and hope that when this all blows over, they will still have the ability and the desire and the money to open them again.

Unfortunately, yet again, it seems that leadership is in short supply. At least from those people we have elected to lead.

Leadership only seems to be in short supply. In reality, it’s around us in abundance. Our lives and our world are changing every day at the moment. That won’t be forever. More and more people are getting sick, and dying, and that – mercifully – won’t be forever either.

And when we come through it, and we will, we will have transformed society in a way that only world wars and other global pandemics have before. In my lifetime, we have never all be in the same boat before. We have never all been in this together, before.

WATCH

Negative people taking
up positive space.

People do the right thing

People are staying home. People are doing the right thing. People do the right thing, mostly, because people are – mostly – good. We might not always be great with rules, but we are always great at sticking together when we really need to. Kindness wins, and there is no greater force to connect and inspire a community than kindness. And we sure need lots of that right now.

Don’t be disheartened when you see too many people on a beach, or two dills wrestling over toilet paper in a supermarket. Rejoice, instead, in the humanity displayed by people who are shopping for their elderly neighbours, or our teachers having completely redesigned their curriculums in a couple of days so that their students aren’t disadvantaged by having to stay at home, or by every one of us when we text or ring someone each day through this, just to see how they are doing.

People are good. Nothing lasts forever. This too shall pass.

Stay safe, and stay at home.

Nick Bowditch

Nick Bowditch

Nick Bowditch is a motivational speaker, best-selling author, of 'Reboot Your Thinking' and 'Actually, it IS all about me', and therapist. He is also a successful (and unsuccessful) entrepreneur, TEDx speaker, inspirational storytelling expert, blogger, he makes podcasts, he's a mental health advocate, a sexual abuse victim, and someone who lives with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He is also a survivor.

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