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Leaders in the Living room

Leaders in the Living room

 And how the rowing boats saved the passengers of the luxury liner the Titanic!

Okay, you may be reading this in the afternoon, or evening, whatever time of day, I hope its one which gives you a reason even for a wee minute to smile!

When the COVID 19 lockdown happened, I decided to send wee emails each morning offering tips for looking after our mental and emotional wellbeing. It was obvious this strange world we find ourselves in, was going to cause us stress, anxiety, grief (if we lose someone close to us), anger and a whole host of emotions -  things have changed and we don't know what happens next. 

Uncertainty isn't something most of us like.

As time moved on, more people asked to be included in the wee emails and also offered things to share. It was then suggested, I should post these online, so, here we are - we will do a wee blog on the things covered to date, for now, this is the one which was sent out today.

Well, seems we have reports now suggesting, the social distancing is going to go on for some time and while there may be a lessening of some restrictions, a return to 'normal' isn't on the cards in the near future. 

Someone sent me this and I thought it may be helpful to share as the current lockdown and social distancing measures are affecting us differently


  • I often hear "we are all in the same boat", but that's not exactly accurate. We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Your ship could be shipwrecked and mine might not be. Or vice versa.
  • For some, quarantine is optimal. A moment of reflection, of re-connection, easy in flip flops, with a cocktail or coffee. For others, this is a desperate financial & family crisis.
  • For some that live alone, they're facing endless loneliness. While for others it is peace, rest & time with their mother, father, sons & daughters.
  • With the increase in unemployment, some are bringing in more money to their households than they were working. Others are working more hours for less money due to pay cuts or loss in sales.
  • Some were concerned about getting certain chocolate for Easter while others were concerned if there would be enough bread, milk and eggs for the weekend.
  • Some want to go back to work because they don't qualify for unemployment and are running out of money. Others want to kill those who break the quarantine.
  • Some are home spending 2-3 hours/day helping their child with online schooling while others are spending 2-3 hours/day to educate their children on top of a 10-12 hour workday.
  • Some have experienced the near-death of the virus, some have already lost someone from it and some are not sure if their loved ones are going to make it. Others don't believe this is a big deal.
  • Some are finally getting to spend quality time with their spouses not wanting things to go back to normal too soon, others are now trapped indoors with their abusive spouse praying every night for things to return back to normal.
  • Some have faith in God and expect miracles during 2020. Others say the worst is yet to come.
  • So, friends, we are not in the same boat. We are going through a time when our perceptions and needs are completely different.
  • Each of us will emerge, in our own way, from this storm. It is very important to see beyond what is seen at first glance. Not just looking, actually seeing.
  • We are all on different ships during this storm experiencing a 𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝗱𝗶𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗷𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗻𝗲𝘆

In a time of storms, sometimes for us or others to survive, we need a lifeboat, or a safe harbour, or a lighthouse warning others of the rocks and helping steer a safer passage to the shore.

This does look as if we may be in this for some time, which we expected, we knew it was going to be a marathon, not a sprint, maybe a longer marathon than we would like, and one we need to get fit for…………….while running it!! But like any race, it does eventually end.

COVID19 and all the challenges it brings, is going to need I think a new type of leadership, I like the term 'leaders in the living room' as it may be hard not to be overwhelmed, by our own circumstances as well as what we know of those we love, care about, is offering support to. 

However, as well as learning to look after ourselves and be the safe harbour/lighthouse which helps others not to feel overwhelmed, we need to learn from the geese!

''Scientists have determined that the V-shaped formation that geese use when migrating serves two important purposes: First, it conserves their energy. Each bird flies slightly above the bird in front of them, resulting in a reduction of wind resistance. 

Researchers have found that the birds will share the tiring lead position in their V formations. 

Flocks of geese honk to encourage each other. One of the advantages of being in a team should be that members don't feel alone and have the support of the group. However, without communication, people can easily begin to feel lost in the crowd''

I believe we can come through this, I don't think it will be easy and I think it is obvious there will be pain, sadness and a sense of loss, not only of people who are dying not only of COVID19, but all the other reasons why life can be lost, but also loss of routine, income, sharing special moments directly with family and friends, a cuddle if you live alone…………the list goes on

However, those Geese can migrate nearly 3,500 miles!! Every year, they have learned how to manage this amazing journey. 

We can manage to navigate this journey, we need to learn how to take the lead at the head of the flying V, to feel supported by others when in that position and to be able to move back and rest at times while others take their turn. 

Already when we look about, we see so much in the way of leadership, safe harbours, and lifeboats being built

We can be a lighthouse for our own hope as well as others, and as long as this lockdown continues and as long as people want to receive these wee emails, I will continue to send them. We may need to learn to do things differently, we may need to challenge some of our assumptions about how we think the world should be and accept, for now, how it is. 

But if we have a clear destination in mind, just like those geese, even when we are blown by storm and winds we keep flying and do all we can, to leave no one behind

We matter, we care about each other, we can do this because we have the courage to see things as they are, want to make them better and care about what happens next. 

While some people may think, 

''well in a storm, I would rather be in a luxury liner than a rowing boat''

"remember when the Titanic went down, it was the rowing boats which saved lives''. 

When a luxury liner comes into port, it's the tugboats which steer it into a safe harbour. 

We are not in the same boat, but we all can be a rowing boat which helps save lives, including our own. 

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Whit's happening! - issue 3
Coping with loss

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