Some weeks back I wrote on My Stroke Still Teaches. In it, I shared “The stroke left me with very little physical impact fortunately, but the way my brain processed going forward was different. Focus was much more crucial. Heavy lifting and processing needed to be more “graceful”. Indeed, there was a new “pace of Grace” necessary. Creativity was unimpacted, maybe even advanced somehow … but cognitive processing required a new approach, if you will.” I had a “minor” stroke, and it required change.
I am no medical professional nor scientist, but I am a student of metaphor and analogy. I humbly offer that the world is experiencing a “minor stroke”. What are the lessons we must needs learn from same? Here is what I learned and continue to learn about my own “shot across the bow”.
Denying a mini-stroke has even happened, fosters a greater chance of worse to come. Mini-strokes are signs of a need for change. Ignoring the idea that such has happened is not advisable.
Even if and when we accept that we experienced same… ignoring the causes of a stroke, leads to the chances of worse. Not a good practice of Strategy. “Mini-strokes” require us to answer the call for change as the mini may lead to something much worse. And there are things we can do. I am ever learning such.
That is better Strategy.
The global pandemic is the planet saying something, I humbly contend. Not unlike the human body as ecosystem, the planetary pandemic is shining a light on economic, environmental, social and medical injustice. Indeed, as we become ever more connected and continue with our business as usual, we impact the planet. “Returning to normal” is not a reality for one who has experienced stroke, unless we want to engage worse. A new normal is required, for life.
Pandemics are not new. What is new is our inevitable interconnectivity. A global pandemic is not resolved by regional solutions any more than a stroke is remedied by one part of the body taking better care of itself. A global virus is united in mission and capable of great innovation and resourcefulness. Humanity needs to respond thusly.
This is not about a top down authoritarian response. This is about global coordination and Cooperation; as virtue and strength. This is not simply about Pandemic. It is about those economic, social, medical and environmental injustices and issues. The planet is kicking back. Our resistance to change is not unlike the patient who either denies there was a stroke or ignores the call and need for change. If I ignore my stroke or the factors causal to it, I tempt a worsened state of existence. Pure and simple. Denying a sickness does not make it go away. Ignoring the need to change does not eliminate the need to change.
I know this from stroke. It taught me well. Does my learning mean that I will not experience another? No, but it does heighten my chances to avoid same. And my learning shows me new vistas of existence; change motivated by need, but showing me better ways to live… that I love.
I think our planetary body is speaking to us not unlike our own would to give us signs. My personal faith in a better world remains strong. But it requires change. It requires Acceptance of the problem, and the Optimism and willingness and innovation to change. And character.
One can deny a sickness. One can ignore the need to change. One can even mock others for seeing the sickness. None of that mitigates the dangers.
My stroke taught me that my body is in this together. I hope and pray and believe that this Pandemic can make us understand that we are in this together. Either way, I move forward ever learning from my own stroke, believing in the global goals and my own work around Character and The Virtues Project in response to the call of this global stroke. For me, it is my personal work within and without… not to mention… how I will choose to play. Guess I did mention it lol.
That all said, some years back I developed this 6 step model for critical thinking and creative problem solving that I have increasingly used over the years. I offer it here in relation to both the global stroke or any “stroke of challenge” facing us individually or collectively…. in the hopes that it might be of Service.
Peace, purpose and prosperity.
“Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. ― Abraham Lincoln