Please do your own research. The information I share is only a catalyst to expanding ones confined consciousness. I have NO desire for anyone to blindly believe or agree with what I share. Seek the truth for yourself and put your own puzzle together that has been presented to you. I'm not here to teach, preach or lead, but rather assist in awakening the consciousness of the collective from its temporary dormancy.
Clearly, the COVID “pandemic” is not intended to be a passing emergency but a ruse to impose a “new normal” corresponding to the UN’s Agenda 2030.
The dystopian future is taking shape. Mass gatherings have been canceled. We must experience the world on a TV screen. The NFL and MLB plays in front of a cardboard crowd to sound effects.
Millions are stuck at home, working “remotely,” or paid to do nothing. (Will they ever agree to work again?)
Restaurants and other businesses in urban centers are going bust.
Students are deprived of the society of their peers, forced to take their courses online. Many are confined to their dorms without proper provisions.
Everyone is required to wear filthy masks.
Locally, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet canceled their annual Nutcracker ballet, scheduled for Christmas. Imagine hundreds of artists out of jobs.
There is talk that Christmas gatherings may be canceled. Every source of solace or happiness is being shut down.
At the local Safeway, the lounge where old folk enjoyed their Timbits and coffee has been closed. They have nowhere to go.
Montreal residents won’t be allowed to visit friends or family at home for most of October or eat out at their favorite restaurant as the provincial government struggles to slow the surge of new coronavirus cases.
All bars, casinos, and restaurants are closed (takeout only). Libraries, museums, cinemas, and theatres will also be closed. Being less than two meters apart will be prohibited.
Masks will be mandatory during demonstrations. Houses of worship and venues for events, such as funerals and weddings, will have a 25-person limit. Hair salons, hotels, and other such businesses will stay open. Schools will remain open.”
For 16 million people in Northeast England, pubs and restaurants can stay open, but it will be illegal to go for a drink with a member of another household or visit them at their home.
Roughly 100 students at the University of Western Ontario were referred for investigation under the school’s code of conduct after campus police broke up parties in university residences on the weekend.
“At the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, with at least 1,889 virus cases since mid-August, and at the University of Notre Dame, with about 550 cases, students have reported their classmates for violating quarantine and wandering outside.”
Our social lives have moved to Facebook.
We’re being reengineered.
The economy is tilting to cabin fever. Home exercise programs and food delivery are thriving. Amazon stock is soaring.
Meanwhile, Main Street is boarded up.
“The housebound are nimbly pivoting to virtual social gatherings,” The New York Times reports.
“They’re holding birthday parties and bar mitzvahs over video chat, broadcasting D.J. sets and streaming concerts (some from the luxurious confines of celebrity homes), and establishing quarantine movie nights on Twitter for “virtual companionship.”
A lot of communal events are taking place on Zoom, a videoconferencing app now being used by many classrooms and businesses (thus transforming it into one of the few companies doing well on the stock market). But it’s not just Zoom.
There are, for example, a small but highly vocal number of people gathering in the digital plazas, pet stores, and pizza shops of Club Penguin Online.
There are happy hours being held on Google Hangout, and poker games taking place over FaceTime.
There are flute meditation sessions on Instagram and thousands of people participating in dance raves that are broadcast on Twitch.
It’s a lot for the internet. On Monday, Discord, the chat app popular with gamers, announced that it would increase its capacity by 20 percent to keep up with demand; it crashed shortly thereafter.”
Conclusion The plan is to dehumanize us in advance of full-blown tyranny. The scary part is that the masses still think the “authorities” have their best interests at heart.
The medical profession, media, and politicians are all taking their orders from the Rockefellers.
This psyop is an egregious betrayal of trust from which society will not recover unless the traitors are all sent packing.
We’ve talked about why homeschooling is an excellent choice from an academic, independence, and character-building standpoint in previous articles. In this discussion, we’ll talk about protecting your children from indoctrination.
Distance Learning Is Starting To Show Some Of The Cracks With Schooling.
Reports are starting to surface of parents uncomfortable with the political patina of their children’s online classrooms. Police visited one family because a boy’s BB gun was visible behind him in an online classroom session, and the teacher reported the “gun” to the police.
Another teacher caught a glimpse of a 12-year old’s Nerf gun, and instead of asking him or the parents about it, she reported it to the sheriff. The child was accidentally suspended for a week for having a toy gun at home during a Zoom class!
One teacher expressed that he has to be more careful with his words now that parents can listen to online class sessions. Some school districts have gone so far as to ask parents to sign a disclaimer that they will not watch class sessions with their children to protect other children’s privacy in the online classroom.
Could it be that teachers, their unions, and school administrations are concerned about being exposed as rhetoric spreaders in the classroom?
Have We Forgotten Our Children Are Our Responsibility?
Rearing them, teaching them, caring for them, and loving them is our responsibility. In this country, it seems we have abdicated that responsibility and ceded it over to the state.
We believe the government owes our children free education, free medical care, and even free meals.
I don’t know about you, but I suspect there is a string attached when I hear something is free. That string is the ability to mold our children’s minds.
I’m not comfortable with people I don’t know taking full responsibility for my children’s care, their thoughts, and their beliefs.
Don’t we suspect that this current civil unrest was born in the classroom some years ago? While “it takes a village” has a nice familial ring to it, do we want the state to be that village?
Do We Want Our Children To Have Our Values Or Someone Else’s?
If you’re a person of faith, you will undoubtedly want your children to share your faith and not that of a secular system. Teach your children how to think and help them to develop good character.
I know many teachers who take their jobs seriously, who go to work faithfully every day and try to do a good job.
The best of them end up being frustrated by a system that doesn’t support them and is heavily influenced by the teacher’s unions and political correctness.
They don’t want to be responsible for both their children and yours. They want to educate your children in reading, writing, and arithmetic.
Still, their latitude in teaching has been severely limited by common core standards, teaching to the test, and political correctness.
Their job performance is now dependent upon how much your children learn from the required curriculum and how well they can perform on a standardized test.
Children spend countless hours preparing for these tests that show only memorized information regurgitated onto the bubble-filled page. Do we want children who can memorize or do we want critical thinkers?
Students are encouraged, “get a good night’s sleep, and eat a good breakfast” on test days, as if this is not important on every other school day.
The teacher’s ability to advance to the next performance level or pay grade depends on your child’s test performance. That’s a lot of pressure for both the teacher and your child.
Don’t we want our kids to be able to read, write, and do the math, and when they’ve learned that, to be able to think critically?
As A Parent, You Have Tremendous Influence And Responsibility
You create an atmosphere of helping your children understand and make sense of the world around them by just listening and having a conversation.
Could you do that over breakfast? How about around the dinner table?
I’ve seen variations on the family meal. Some families discuss the events of the day. Others will pose a question and ask everyone’s opinion before the parent gives his/her view.
Others recite memorized poetry or Bible verses, and others use the time to pray. Mealtime can become a sacred time – a time for the family to lift one another, work through difficulties, and talk about what was essential to each one.
We didn’t realize how important mealtime was until my son had a group of friends over. When it was dinnertime, my son called them to the table. They said they’d come in to eat later.
My son explained that we all eat together in our house. Reluctantly, they all came in to eat. At the end of the meal, my son’s friends said they enjoyed eating together.
The only time they did that in their homes was during the holidays. I think they wished their own families did the same.
You have the power to create a safe and comforting place in your home at mealtime, not just for your children but also for their friends.
Even if the food is simple, or God forbid, scarce, don’t discard the opportunity to reconnect.
What About Homeschooling?
The decision of whether to homeschool – or even if they’re qualified to do so – has been a difficult one for many parents.
I’ve read that parents are concerned about the cost of homeschooling, hiring a tutor or a teacher for their micro-school or learning pod of children. They are desperate to keep working and earning to pay someone else to educate their children and maintain their same lifestyle.
If you can afford to hire a teacher, even part-time, to educate your and your friend’s kids in a one-room schoolhouse in your converted garage, more power to you. Many don’t have that financial flexibility to hire someone else to teach.
My advice to you would be to join forces with other parents, share the load, learn to teach your children, and teach them to learn from you. Here are some tips to help you do so.
Be flexible. Some parents may be able to teach during part of the day, and some may be available for tutoring at night. Another parent may teach archery, bushcraft skills, gardening, food preservation, or backpacking on the weekend.
Be creative. Pull together something that works for you and the other families. A kitchen table is all you need.
Divide the work fairly. I belonged to a babysitting co-op, and we created laminated cards to exchange babysitting services.One card for one hour of babysitting for up to two children was the baseline. We all started with the same number of cards and exchanged and received them as we used and provided babysitting to the other co-op members. Parent educators could design a similar system — one card per adult for two hours of teaching for up to four children.
Using an established system, you could help one another in other ways. Perhaps one family gardens, another knows how to do car maintenance, another has an abundance of chicken eggs, and another has skills in the medical field.
Could you exchange what you have or know for what another family has or knows? Could you save money by exchanging for needs?
Think about it because this kind of system could help you navigate not only homeschooling, but also a collapse in the supply chain, rapid inflationary pressures on food or medicine, or securing neighborhoods from civil unrest.
Why Do I Push Homeschooling?
Homeschooling can form the baseline for all other thought processes.
Homeschooling creates solid values in your children, supporting one another through thick and thin, and finding others who are like-minded.
Homeschooling can be your lifeline, not just for your children, but also for your entire family.
It’s also the best way I know to have a stable and fulfilling relationship with your grown children.
Homeschooling is just part of a mindset that is undergirded by a belief in self-sufficiency. And by self-sufficiency, I don’t necessarily mean going it all alone.
I mean figuring out a way to make it a win-win for others with a similar mindset to you and getting what both you and they need.
Some people find a group of like-minded people in a church, within your own family, and others find them on a blog like this.
Find your people and figure out a way to help one another, not just in homeschooling, but also in doing life together.
I used to say it was time to leave this country if homeschooling was outlawed because I believed that was the final step in indoctrination and in limiting our freedom.
While it is not outlawed, it may become more and more regulated. I urge you to take this time to explore your options, to understand what you want for your family’s future, and to take action now to achieve that.
I believe we have a window of opportunity that may close in the years ahead. Learn to protect your children from the indoctrination of others who don’t have their best interests in mind.
Fear is one of the most powerful tools the elites have at their disposal. Using the mainstream media, politicians and others who want world domination can inject fear into the public at the drop of a hat, making them easy to manipulate and control.
Aristotle once said: “He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.” Fear is a powerful weapon, and it’s been used globally for the past few months.
People have shown that the instant the media tells them to live a life scared in their homes, they will comply in order to “stay safe.”
Whether the virus is real or not, is not the point. The elitists must keep the public in a constant state of panic in order to control them.
Unafraid and compassionate people are impossible to control.
Unfortunately and unsurprisingly, the propaganda was injected into schools to eliminate critical thinking.
At school, we were taught to think in certain ways. They taught us what to think, but not how to develop our thinking. And everyone was taught the same. If we thought in different ways than our classmates, teachers would tell us we are bad students.
They would give us bad grades and might even expel us from school. Therefore, as students we learned to compromise our thinking so as to get away with trouble. – The Bounded Spirit
The other hard truth most will not like to hear is that if you are still stuck in the left vs. right paradigm, you still haven’t figured any of it out yet. Left vs. right only exists to give us the illusion of choice.
It’s time to question what we’ve been programmed to think, and it should start there. The fear of not electing the right candidate drives people to polls to vote for evil every year. (The lesser of two evils is still evil.)
Fear is the best weapon of all great manipulators. It can move people to do anything, no matter how nonsensical it is. Take, for example, the COVID-19 scam.
People are still terrified of a virus that even the government has admitted isn’t any worse than the flu. Why? Because the media, the government’s lapdog, is telling them they still need to be afraid.
The elites have learned to manipulate the public’s emotions to their advantage. With global media corporations in place, controlled and operated BY the elite, they can amplify that fear quite easily.
Turn on the news, open a newspaper and you’ll see this.
We have been taught to be distrustful of the mind, however, and of our thoughts. This has been by design and has been perpetuated through society by the elite of this world who understand the power of thought and the nature of the mind.
In fact, most of us have been through a long period of mind-programming since we were born to separate our mind from itself so that it does not know or experience this truth. – With One Breath
Obey. That is the name of the game of control. And controlled you are if you do not recognize how innately powerful, creative, and safe you really are. This life is not all you are, but it is everything you’ve been taught to believe.
Our emotions are energy and they all have a frequency. The closer you are to the bottom, the easier it will be to manipulate you into obeying and complying with tyranny.
Author and commentator Peter Hitchens, a vehement critic of coronavirus lockdown laws, also weighed in.
“This official tax-funded placard from Stockton-on-Tees encourages human beings to treat each other as toxic hazards,” tweeted Hitchens.
“Leaving aside the disturbing philosophical and moral implications, surely such behaviour is incompatible with anything resembling a society,” he added.
This official tax-funded placard from Stockton-on-Tees encourages human beings to treat each other as toxic hazards. Leaving aside the disturbing philosophical and moral implications, surely such behaviour is incompatible with anything resembling a society. https://t.co/nDM9nWWE8v
As we previously highlighted, the UK is home to some of the most draconian social distancing rules in the developed world, with one company telling staff that only 40% of them will be able to return to work in January due to a rule that dictates cars must be “socially distanced” in the parking lot.
As we document in the video below, the public’s perception of the threat of coronavirus is infinitely greater than its actual lethality.
A survey revealed in the UK for example that people on average think COVID-19 has killed 7 per cent of the population – around 5 million people.
Resilience is defined as the psychological capacity to adapt to stressful circumstances and to bounce back from adverse events. Resilience is considered a process to build resources toward searching for a better future after potentially traumatic events. Some of these resources come from our inherent potential and some from what we learn about how to endure hardship. The ability to bounce back requires being empowered to make decisions that promote personal well-being. And like sobriety, they must be frequently reconfirmed (Southwick & Charney, 2012).
1. Pursuing a meaningful goal. Resilient individuals find a calling and dedicate themselves to what gives life purpose. Pursuing a meaningful purpose may involve stress and pain in the short run but over the long run brings meaning (e.g., raising children, seeking personal growth, training for a marathon). People with a sense of purpose feel less anxiety and stress (Hagerty, 2016). As Nietzsche remarked, “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”
2. Challenge assumption. Resilience requires creativity and flexibility. Traditional beliefs should be examined in the light of new experiences and ideas. Creativity requires one to consider many perspectives to avoid being imprisoned by one’s habitual thoughts. In the aftermath of major life struggles, where fundamental assumptions are seriously confronted, it can lead to positive psychological change (Terdeschi and Calhoun, 2004). In a sense, change represents the death of who we once were. For example, psychologist Lyubomirsky (2013) notes that a rewarding life after divorce requires not only leaving your spouse but also leaving your past self behind.
3. Cognitive flexibility. Resilient people tend to be flexible in their way of thinking and responding to stress. An important component of cognitive flexibility is accepting the reality of our situation, even if that situation is frightening or painful. Acceptance is a key ingredient in the ability to tolerate highly stressful situations. Avoidance and denial are the most common counterproductive coping strategies that can help people temporarily, but it ultimately stands in the way of growth.
4. Growth through suffering. Resilient people generally meet failure head-on and use it as an opportunity to learn and grow. Nietzsche famously remarked, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ In his book, Antifragile, Nassim Taleb (2012) writes, “Our antagonist is our helper (P39).” Thus, we can view any experience of emotional pain as an opportunity that will strengthen our ability to better deal with any future pain. However, when we medicate away our suffering we miss the opportunity to grow.
5. Acting despite the fear. Courage is an important aspect of positive psychology that allows one to overcome personal limitations and pursue a full life (Seligman, 2011). Courage is not a matter of feeling no fear. Courage is acting despite fear. Courage is the strength in facing one’s destructive habits. For example, the courage of an addict overcoming his or her addiction or the person abused as a child overcoming deep psychological traumas to become a loving and productive adult. Those who move forward in the face of adversity increase their inner strength.
6. Emotion regulation. A prominent view in psychology is that our emotional lives are shaped by our values and judgments (Solomon, 2007). It’s the basic premise of modern cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This is also one of the basic psychological principles of Stoicism (Robertson, 2019). Much, if not all, of our thinking, is up to us. We can liberate ourselves from destructive emotions such as anger and hatred by developing a capacity to choose how to interpret the situation. Our ability in managing the flow of thought and the capacity to visualize the future contribute to happiness.
7. The feeling of agency. Agency (the power of me) is an internal resource that often enables resilience. The sense of agency refers to the capacity of individuals to act independently and shape their life circumstances. By exerting free will, the person expands his options and freedom. When feeling free and self-determined, we generally flourish. Believing that things are beyond our control is a recipe for helplessness.
8. Social support. Resilient individuals draw strength from their social networks. They also provide social support to others. The availability of social support reduces anxiety and stress. After all, it feels easier to face adversity when you have a close friend that you can rely on. When you have strong social support, you don’t have to use as many of your own personal resources to cope with adversity. Those relationships give you a profound sense of emotional security and the feeling that someone has your back no matter what.
Hagerty BB (2016), Life Reimagined. Riverhead books.
Lyubomirsky, S. (2013).The myths of happiness: What should make you happy, but doesn’t, what shouldn’t make you happy, but does.New York: Penguin Press.
Robertson, Donald (2019), How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius, St. Martin’s Press.
Seligman, Martin E. P. (2011). Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being. New York: Free Press.
Solomon, Robert C. (2007). True to Our Feelings: What Our Emotions Are Really Telling Us. Oxford University Press, USA
Southwick, S. M., & Charney, D. S. (2018). Resilience: The science of mastering life’s greatest challenges. 2nd edition. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Taleb, NM (2012) Antifragile, New York: Random House.
Tedeschi RG, Calhoun LG (2004), Posttraumatic growth: conceptual foundations and empirical evidence. Psych Inquiry, 15(1-18).
In a time of disconnection, deep conversations can make all the difference.
David Brooks, the opinion columnist for The New York Times, wrote an article last month titled “Mental Health in the Age of the Coronavirus,” describing how the anxiety and isolation of the pandemic were impacting everyone in some way. He quoted Bonnie Badenoch, an expert in trauma, who felt one antidote to this stress was a need to have “deep reciprocal attunement (with others) that makes you feel viscerally safe,” and Martha Welch, a professor at Columbia University, who stressed the need to connect with others by having “vulnerable,” deep conversations.
Deep conversations may be an important way to connect with those we care about in these difficult times, but they are always a good idea. They are the foundation of strong intimate relationships — those “we talked all night” conversations when dating, or those seemingly rare but cherished, heartfelt times when you lowered your guard and spoke from your heart with someone you trust. They connect you to the human race, to those important in your life, in some way to yourself.
Good idea, but often easier said than done. Here are some tips of going deeper into your conversations:
Make sure it’s a good time to talk
This is a matter of logistics. It’s hard to have a deep conversation when someone is on their cell phone driving to the grocery store or when they are trying to get their three kids to bed. These times are for quick check-ins — how-you-doing, catch-you-later speed conversations. For those deeper conversations you need time; find out if the other person has some. Simple question: Is this a good time to talk?
Set the tone
Because you’re the one initiating this, you need to be the one to set the tone, the one to let the other person know that you’re interested in having more than a how-you-doing check-in. There are two ways of doing this.
One is to set the tone by talking about yourself more deeply than you usually do. You want to move beyond the standard, “I’m good,” to more honest statements about how you are really doing – I’ve been feeling down lately; I don’t know about you, but my kids are driving me crazy; I had been doing okay until Tom and I had this argument last night. This is about self-disclosure and revealing more of you and your feelings. With this introduction, you are letting the other person know what kind of conversation you want to have, what emotional level you are comfortable talking about. You can then turn the conversation towards them.
The other approach is to ask hard questions at the start: Not the “Doing okay?” but “Have you been having a hard time?” “Have you been feeling depressed or worried?” “Are your kids driving you crazy or struggling?” People only know what is safe to talk about based on what you talk about and what you ask. By drilling down into specific, more emotionally difficult conversations, you are letting the other person know that you are ready to hear what they have to say, that you are ready to go there.
Ask about details
Good therapists do this instinctively. They try to move from broad statements (“I’ve been feeling anxious“) to the details: What about, what thoughts have you had, how do you talk to yourself? You don’t need to be a therapist and try to deconstruct the other person’s psychology, but you want to ask about details (about an argument they had or about how the kids are driving them crazy) because emotions ride on content. Broad questions yield broad, bland emotions; detailed questions stir deeper, more poignant feelings. And expressing these deeper emotions and having them accepted glues people together.
Give space between emotions
And when these emotions arise, you only need to acknowledge them (“That must have been hurtful; that sounds so frustrating”) and then stop and be silent. This can be hard—our instincts are to repair, to fix, to make it better by saying the right thing right then to calm the waters. Don’t. Take a few deep breaths, allow room for you both to absorb what has been said (or for them to finish ranting or crying).
Slow down, focus on them
In the same vein, you want to slow the conversation overall. Move through the conversation like a turtle, not a jackrabbit. Keep the focus on them, give them the room and attention they need, and resist using their stories as launchpads to talk about your own. Only when they are done is it time to turn the conversation towards you.
You know if you are moving into more vulnerable and intimate territory if what you want to say makes you feel uncomfortable, you get those butterflies of anxiety. Intimacy is not about disclosing some big, dark secret, but saying anything that is, for you, difficult to say. Take that risk for yourself, and listen for it in the other person. They may say “I’ve never said this before or thought about this before,” or there may be a hesitation or an unfinished sentence and a sigh. Ask them to finish the sentence. Give them space to say what is hard to say.
Use your anxiety as a sign that you are emotionally plowing new ground. Go deeper to connect.
Do you display emotional intelligence (EQ) when working with others? How would you know? Over the years I’ve found that EQ does its best work when things get a bit hairy due to opposing personalities and agendas, a stressful work environment, or when your buttons are pushed.
As leaders, when we are being impulsive, shortsighted, reacting with anger in the heat of the moment, or not making decisions in our “right minds,” we are sorely lacking EQ.
People with emotional intelligence have the learned capacity to process a situation gone bad, get perspective, and hold back from going to that “bad place.”
By processing over things with a rational and level-headed mind, you’ll eventually arrive at another, more sane conclusion.
That begs the question, how can you assess your own EQ as a way to measure yourself against its desired behaviors? Simple. Ask yourself these 5 questions:
1. Do you respond to people and situations instead of reacting?
There is a difference. In reacting to a stressful moment that’s going south fast, you may end up clouding your thinking and judgment and escalate what should’ve been a manageable dispute into an all-out war. But by responding, rather than reacting, emotionally-intelligent people step back, create space to consider the situation from all angles, and decide the best approach to handle things.
2. During conflict, are you able to cut through the drama and stick to the facts?
In emotionally-charged moments under pressure-cooker environments, a person with high EQ will explain the outcome she is hoping for and will ask for other ideas for solutions with an open mind. This typically leads to a constructive discussion that may resolve an ongoing issue to everyone’s satisfaction.
3. Do you take in the whole view of the problem and look at all sides of the issue?
People with emotional intelligence look at all sides of the issue and tap into their feelings and those of others to choose a different, and better, outcome. They seek out varied perspectives and solicit opinions of others before acting.
4. Do you manage your emotions better than most people?
Self-control is a personal competence developed in every person. The question behind self-control is: Can I manage my emotions and behavior to a positive outcome? Emotional intelligence expert and bestselling author Daniel Goleman explains:
Reasonable people–the ones who maintain control over their emotions–are the people who can sustain safe, fair environments. In these settings, drama is very low and productivity is very high. Top performers flock to these organizations and are not apt to leave them.
Self-control gives one the capacity to be present, calm, and focused during times of high stress. It’s a necessary virtue with long-term payoff.
5. Are you naturally positive and optimistic?
Emotionally intelligent people are positive thinkers who don’t get caught up in things they can’t control, like obsessing over politics or Covid-19. They put their energy and effort on the things within their power — the things that matter most in life, like their business and relationships. Because they’re naturally optimistic, you may find that they are physically and psychologically healthier than those with a negative outlook on life
In times of crisis, especially unexpected ones, we humans tend to react with a fight-or-flight response. We are hardwired that way; it was programmed into our primitive brain from the time we lived in caves. During times of crisis and fear, such as we are now experiencing, we look to our leaders more than ever to provide us with guidance, hope, and support. While our leaders will not have all the answers, we have expectations that they will find the right people to help them, provide moral support and direction, and shine a light to help us find our way to a better place. We are looking for someone who we trust to have our best interests at heart. This requires a leader who has a level of emotional intelligence in order to manage their emotions and help us in managing ours for the better good of all of us.
Here are five things that emotionally intelligent leaders demonstrate in times of crisis:
Maya Angelou said, “People will forget the things you do, and people will forget the things you say. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” How leaders are judged in a difficult time is not necessarily what they said or did, but how they made people feel. While they may say the right words read from a teleprompter, many people will sense if the leader is not being authentic, or simply saying what is expected of them. Leaders who are genuinely empathetic and concerned for the needs of those they represent will come across as honest, sincere, and authentic.
Like all of us, leaders have the full range of emotions. Because of their power to influence so many people, the expectation that they will keep their emotions in check are much greater than they are for the rest of us. During times of crisis, the most effective leaders are able to control their fear, their impulse to avoid any responsibility and blame others, that we all struggle with during the most difficult times. To keep their emotions in check, leaders need to be aware of what they are feeling, what emotions may be most difficult for them to manage, and work on having them under control before communicating publicly.
During a crisis, the situation may change drastically and constantly without warning. It is crucial that leaders are able to move along with the crisis as it changes. Being uncomfortable with not having all the answers, being vulnerable, and relying upon others who are knowledgeable are all traits that highly adaptable leaders share. They don’t pretend to have answers that they don’t have, but they provide assurances and comfort in letting us know that answers will be found.
Emotionally intelligent leaders are aware of how the crisis is affecting those involved and think of this before they communicate publicly. A major fail in this regard came about after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, when BP CEO Tony Haywood stated, “I just want my life back.” His lack of awareness of how this came across to the loved ones of those who lost their lives and everyone who was affected made him sound totally tone-deaf. It showed a complete lack of empathy and awareness of how others might feel and see things during this time.
STRONG AUTHENTIC COMMUNICATION
While it is important that a leader have good communications skills during crisis situations, it is also important that they speak with authenticity and in a style that they speak in naturally. People who are used to hearing them speak will pick up when a leader is communicating differently than usual and question their genuineness and authenticity. Communicating through a crisis is often the most difficult thing a leader has to do, and it can push them far out of their comfort zones. The best leaders rise to the occasion and push themselves to the point of allowing the best of themselves to come through.
While mass media is steadily encouraging fear and panic, we actually need to calm down and take a deep breath. Here are some things to remember in these trying times.
In these past weeks, we’ve witnessed a series of major historical events of a magnitude that is still difficult to fathom. With these events came a wave of panic that is palpable both on a local and a global level. And, in some ways, that panic is understandable. The specter of an invisible yet deadly disease spreading at an exponential rate has terrified humans for centuries.
At the time of writing these lines, we’re at this strange period of uncertainty where we have no idea where this is going and what kind of impact it will have on humanity. How long will this last? How many people will die? Will the world economy collapse?
This unprecedented situation has triggered in many individuals a great deal of fear and anxiety – steadily fed by a constant influx of alarming news by mass media. Meanwhile, while the masses are physically confined in small spaces and mentally paralyzed with fear, things are happening behind the scenes.
In these trying times, vigilant citizens need to be more vigilant than ever. And that means taking a step back, taking a deep breath and remaining clear-headed.
With that being said, here are a few things we need to remember now and always.
1- “This Too Shall Pass”
If COVID-19 is causing in you feelings of fear, panic, and anxiety, please repeat to yourself this timeless saying: “This too shall pass”. Because it will.
In 1858, Abraham Lincoln famously recounted:
“It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: “And this, too, shall pass away.” How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!
Often found in wisdom literature of the ancient Near East, the adage “this too shall pass” aptly sums up the unconditionally temporary nature of human condition. It is a reminder that every single event in human history, whether it is a negative or a positive one, inevitably becomes a thing of the past. And, although there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel right now, this virus will also inevitably become a thing of the past.
The only question is “when?”. Not unlike all other living things in the world, epidemics rise, peak and decline. Sooner or later, this thing will peak and it will decline. In the past decades, SARS and H1N1 caused a great deal of panic. However, the only thing they are infecting now is history books.
While current world events might seem overwhelming, we still have full control of ourselves and our surroundings. Which leads me to my next point.
2- You Don’t Need Up-to-the-Minute News Updates
If you can take away one thing from this site is that critical thinking is required when dealing with mass media. Sometimes, it doesn’t have our best interest at heart and, sometimes, it is even outright toxic. As people are confined to their homes with little to do, the urge to keep up with the news is constant. However, not all news is good to consume. Some of it actually is vile, toxic crap.
For instance, an article in Canada’s National Post titled What might our lives look like when Canada is in the full grip of COVID-19? dug up an obscure report dating from 2009, quoted its grimmest parts and linked them to what is happening now. I will spare you the details, but the article talks about things such as “stockpiling body bags, choosing a central place where people bring corpses of family members and identifying hockey and curling rinks cold enough to be temporary morgue sites”.
The article brought forth no useful information, just wild speculations that poke on people’s latent fears. Gladly, not every reader lapped up the unnecessary fear-mongering. Here are two comments from the article.
Another article from another Canadian publication titled Cancel your March Break straight-up begins with these words:
“Fear is the right reaction to the coronavirus”.
I’m sorry, but no. The only time that fear is the “right reaction” is when a bear is chasing you and you need the adrenaline boost to outrun it. In the case of a global crisis with lots of moving parts that require careful planning, fear is not the “right reaction”. Fear leads to panic-induced, irrational decisions. And a prolonged state of fear can be extremely damaging for one’s mental health.
After a whole lot of fear-mongering, the article ends with these words:
“Be afraid. Be very afraid.”
I’m sorry, but no. Now, more than ever, we need to remain calm, rational and level-headed. And limiting our daily intake of “panic news” is a great start. Trust me, I know that it is difficult to resist the urge to grab one’s phone and look-up news articles about the virus. I sometimes find myself doing it without even realizing it. But it is simply not healthy or even necessary to do so.
You don’t need to get a mild panic attack each time the number of confirmed cases goes up a notch. You don’t need to mildly despair each time an artist cancels a world tour. More importantly, if you have children, they don’t need to see you turn into a panicky shell of a person. Which leads me to my final point.
3- Life Goes On
If you look outside, the sun is still rising and birds are still chirping. You are still on this Earth and you still have one life to live. Even if you are in lockdown, quarantine or whatever else, you are still in control of yourself and your surroundings. You still need to sleep well, eat healthily and exercise regularly. If you’re stuck at home, put down your phone for a while and use this time to take care of your people, read a good book, work on creative projects and, if possible, go outside and seek the healing presence of nature. Coincidentally enough, in my annual end-of-year articles, I constantly suggest readers to do these exact things. That’s because, despite the constant noise of mass media, the most important things in life happen outside of it.
While this advice might sound extremely boring and generic, this is what needs to be done right now in order to remain vigilant citizens. We need to remain sharp and focused, not weak and fearful. Because, at this point, it doesn’t matter where this virus comes from, what (or who) is behind it and how dangerous it really is. It already managed to shut down the entire world.
Soon, we will need to ask some important questions: Who benefited from this situation? Who went for a power grab? What kind of companies weathered the storm? Where did the world economy shift to? What kind of local and global policies were introduced?
To properly answer these questions, we need to remain strong and watchful. Because, no matter what happens in the next months … this too shall pass.