Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high

Born on May 7, 1861, Rabindranath Tagore’s poem is inspiring in 2020 and beyond. He could be writing about overcoming this dreadful pandemic.

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high

Where knowledge is free

Where the world has not been broken up into fragments

By narrow domestic walls

Where words come out from the depth of truth

Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way

Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit

Where the mind is led forward by thee

Into ever-widening thought and action

Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Rabindranath Tagore

The fray of the day

The best camera you have is the one you have with you.

The best notebook you have is the one you have with you.

When I have an idea, I jot it down in my phone via Apple notes. Pen and paper are more classic, but capturing a thought on my phone is so much more convenient because I always have my phone with me.

Working from home during COVID-19 means I’m at my desk and in front of my computer for a large part of the day. The upside of being close to my mac is that memorializing ideas is so easy when I have a keyboard at my fingertips.

The downside with walk & talk meetings or impromptu chats in an office, was that I didn’t immediately write down what had happened or what I needed to do next. Stuff slipped through the cracks. Ideas got lost in the fray of the day.

Writing something down gets an idea out of my head and makes it real. That’s a huge first step to getting it resolved, publishing it, or codifying it.

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You gotta hang around the hoop if you want to score

The older I get the less credit I give myself when things go right. I’m not as hard on myself when things go wrong. Good luck has played a huge role my life.

Outcomes in life are super random. The 2020 pandemic is a good reminder. In 2019 nobody saw it coming or was prepared for the global impact. In the aftermath some people have thrived and others have suffered. Excellent travel companies like AirBnb are in major pain, while video conferencing companies like Zoom are at all time highs. NOBODY SAW THIS COMING.

I’m happy to give myself credit when I’ve taken action and followed through on a decision or started something. I might not control the outcome, but at least I’m in the game and moving forward.

You gotta hang around the hoop if you want to score.

“At the moment of commitment, the entire universe conspires to assist you”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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Tears and laughter

I predict tears and laughter in airports and train stations across the world when we can travel again. Some people, especially immigrants who have journeyed far away from their birthplaces, likely won’t see family and friends for a really long time. Reuniting with loved ones like children, parents, and grandparents will be a cathartic experience. I do not think people have yet realized that pre-pandemic was the last time we would see the people we loved for a very long time.

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Sheeple People

Humans are like sheep. We mimic the crowd and don’t like to stand out. Nobody wants to be first, but then when the dam breaks, everyone follows pretty quickly.

We are more comfortable wearing a face mask if someone else is already wearing one. It’s like anything in the fashion world – we first see a new style of clothing on a fashion ramp during Fashion Week, then we see it in a magazine, then some film star is wearing it on Instagram, and then it’s available at Zara or H&M. There’s comfort in conformity.

I noticed the reluctance to wear a face mask during the last two smoke filled fire season and now again during the COVID-19 pandemic. The same applies to proper etiquette for social distancing in grocery stores, public transport, and public parks.

Politicians, CEOs, and community leaders should set an example for others to follow. Most people want to do the right thing, but don’t underestimate shyness and the reluctance to stand out as a significant roadblock.

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Closing down to open up

“Hard choices, easy life. Easy choices, hard life.” Jerzy Gregorek

Countries like New Zealand and Australia that mandated proper lockdowns and that had its citizens cooperate are now opening up for trade and commerce again. They will be the “Green” Free Trade zones in 2020.

Countries that screamed about fake news and conspiracy theories haven’t even adequately closed down yet. The failed states will be “Red” no-trade zones as they stagger through the painful process of herd immunity.
The reaction to COVID-19 is like one big The Rorschach Test. COVID-19 is a not a Netflix show that you can turn off when you get bored.

The virus has its own programming schedule and it isn’t On Demand TV like Hulu or Netflix.

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