Good News, ‘Smores, and Yoda

Fourteen years ago, we gathered our four kids on the back porch for ‘smores and to create their Wish List in life.
They are now 26, 24, 20, and 17, then they were 12, 10, 6, and 3.
Two of those wishes stand out.
The 20 year old, Nora, wanted a self flushing toilet so that I would stop yelling at her to flush the toilet after she had completed her mission.
To which I replied, “You could just flush the toilet…the handle is right behind you. It’s right there.”
“I KNOW DAD but I’m just too busy…”
Said the six year old.
The other wish that I recall was from our then 10 year old William who wanted to create a news service with nothing but good news. He was really upset that all the news – then – was so negative.
Imagine what 10 yr olds think today?
His primary nickname at the time was “WeeWa.” (Yes, Nora called him that. Probably too busy to say William.)
Thus was born WeeWa News and he launched a blog. That was cut down by the blog service because he was too young.
So, imagine my delight to see John Krasinski of the TV show “The Office” come up with his own “Some Good News Show” on You Tube to combat all the negative news these days.
Click here to watch and subscribe.
In honor of the next generation, let’s focus the end of this week on successful planning for the future. Theirs and ours.
First, let’s dismiss straight away that things will return to normal or the way things were before the COVID – 19 pandemic.
That ain’t gonna happen folks.
We will never be the same.
Hopefully, we will rather quickly go through the Kubler-Ross five stages of grief – Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.
Each phase is a conscious choice that must be made if we are going to grow out of this.
By the looks of things on Twitter, many are stuck in Stage Two – Anger. Denial came and went with the various lock down protocols. Twitter folks have been in Anger Stage for a long time and well before all this.
But this is real.
Really real.
We need to be angry in order to grow out of it, so let folks have their say. It’s not unhealthy and does not require any action on our part beyond simply listening.
Remember, anger is a fear based emotion. Try to understand their (your/our) fear so we can make the best changes possible.
Once we deal with our fears, we can get to the toughest stages of Grief – Bargaining and Depression.
It’s going to be extremely hard for us to successfully deal with the Force of the change coming.
While there is great opportunity after all of this passes (and it will eventually), we must understand how big the change will be as well as the nature of force and fear.
Yoda brilliantly states it “Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
Physics once again explains things clearly.

Force = mass times acceleration.

Star Wars shows us the Force has a Dark Side.
Can’t recall if there is a name for the Good Side of the Force. Oh well…
Think of the size of this moment and then what will happen once we reboot.
There is not going to be one sector of our lives, our economy, or our culture that will return to early 1st Quarter 2020. Be angry about that because things were going very well, but please don’t deny that that has ended and rather abruptly so.
Ok, what next?
Imagine isolating and deconstructing specific sectors of our lives and then imagine them anew. Reborn.
It is Lent after all.
Let’s start with an area that no one is doing now – for the most part – air travel.
After 9/11, that was completely shut down so we could add secure doors on the cockpits and much more intensive screenings for boarding passengers.
The next step will likely be a passengers proving a negative – they aren’t carrying COVID-19 or any other communicable disease.
How do we do that?
Massive, scaled, mobile testing labs. Maybe even drive thru just as fast and efficient as Chick Fil A.
We will likely see an industrialization of testing such that we will normalize it within our travels in which we will all be tested a certain time before traveling occurs with a new QR code.
FitBit on steroids.
We might even have that testing in home.
Alexa, can I go to work today?
“No, you need to stay home. I already told them. Your calendar has been updated and the coffee is brewing.”

Far fetched? Maybe. But I guarantee someone else has developed the plans and investment portfolio for it.
OR how about ventilators? Ooohh…we need those.
Right now do you want in your garage or driveway another car or a ventilator?
Look at Ford stock today. Just checked – $4.22 a share.
What would that stock do if they announced Monday they were converting say five plants to manufacture ventilators and they expected the price to drop to less $10,000 a piece? Financing is available and less than your mortgage rate.
Two please.
Now shift to the public sector. Best captured in Wayne’s World by Garth here – We fear change.
Actually, they embrace change if it comes from….the public sector.
After all this, do you really expect NOT to have K-12 systems change? Check out this brilliant TED talk on schools killing creativity and this one on The Human Skills we need in an unpredictable world.
Higher education will remain the same? How about health care policy? Alcohol laws? Utility infrastructure?
You get the picture. Just like after major wars, depressions, recessions, and impactful events, our culture will change.
There is a quote in this excellent webinar put on by InVision – New Trends in Creativity, Team Culture, and Leadership.
“Comfort is the enemy of greatness.”
If that is the case – imagine how great this next decade could be. Then think about what stands in the way of that greatness.
Once we thoroughly grieve all of this, then we can launch into a great future.
What do you think stands in the way of our greatness? Share your thoughts or start a conversation.
It’s part of the process we need to embrace.
Maybe start with a Wish List over ‘Smores.

Chris Saxman

About Chris Saxman

Father of four, small business leader, retired politician, and Executive Committee member and former Chairman of an international trade association, Chris Saxman delivers strategy and insight as a political coach and keynote speaker. Contact Chris.

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