Facing globalised problems and pandemics as far-reaching as the Corona one, we often feel paralysed and non-significant. Yet, we all have more power than we think, all our small movements make a difference. Go out and be the small boat in this story.
At the beginning of World War II, Belgium collapsed almost immediately. Yet at that moment, many (merely) British soldiers were fighting in the Northern French coastal city of Dunkirk. At the moment of the collapse of Belgium, they were forced to be evacuated, yet going over land was not an option. The sea would be their only gateaway. Yet, considering the number of soldiers, the boats of the marine alone would not be enough to evacuate them before the enemy would show up and take their lives.
Facing this huge challenge, which reached further than the logistical capacity of the army, these soldiers’ lives might have been lost. If not, various brave individuals made each a small, yet significant move. All those who had a boat, from a small fishing boat over a pleasure yacht, set sail from above and below, and started getting their men back. One at a time, one move with a tremendous ripple effect, one small boat to save a precious life.
Small Move, Big Effect
You too, can be the small boat. You too can have a big impact with a small move. In this case, for a lot of us, the small move might be not to move at all if the government of your country asks to. The small move might be to stay at home, don’t spread the virus. The small move might be to wash your hands more frequently. The small move might be to make that phone call to one who is alone. The small move might be not to panic, but to stay calm and go with the flow of the day.
The small move will be to do the groceries for elderly who cannot leave the house. The small move will be to take care of those people at risk who are really put in quarantine. The small move will be to share ideas with other parents about how to keep your children entertained. The small move will be to reach out emotionally to those who are getting desperate or anxious. The small move will to be solidary and empathic, to listen to each other and help each other coming through.
Tough times don’t last for ever, yet, we have to get through this, and we can only succeed I that if we stand together.
Delight vs Despair
When writing this, I hear about how more countries in Europe are getting in lockdown. The supermarkets are getting more and more stripped, and the streets are getting emptier. Yet, an official lockdown hasn’t been announced. Still, I am not in despair of what is to come, since we cannot predict the future, and we will have to take it as it comes.
In contrary, I am delight about something beautiful happening at the other side of the world. Belgium is preparing for impact. They know the peak will come soonish, so they are doing whatever they can to be prepared: brace for impact.
Yet, mouth masks and other medical equipment is becoming scarce – globally – or expensive. In times when medical institutions are understaffed due to the years of budget cuts on health care, the facing challenge will become as big that the conventional system might not be sufficient.
One Mask at a Time
Yet, there is no despair nor panic. Crisis provokes creativity. Crisis provokes solidarity. As I mentioned in the previous blog post, we are not alone in this. Nor are the medical care givers. Therefore, in Belgium they opened a Facebook page to gather volunteers, to ask people to make a small move with a huge impact.
Crisis provokes creativity. Crisis provokes solidarity.
One of those actions is to stitch mouth masks. The medical institutions spread instructions, and all the information needed so every single person with a stitching machine can do it. One mouth mask at a time, one small move with a big impact.
My mum reacts enthusiast, she has a stitching machine, and some spare cotton sheets that could be easily converted into medical mouth masks.
It makes me proud and emotional at the same time. My mum, who has no sophisiticated education, who has only one arm and is half paralysed, yet, she as well will do whatever is in her power to help. She will go out and be the small boat, not by creating a revolutionary wave, but by doing what she can: stitching a mouth mask. This small move, will have a tremendous impact. One mouth mask at a time.
Therefore, I ask you all to be the small boat. Do whatever is in your possibility, you all have unique talents and gifts, knowledge and skills you can use. Don’t sink in despair or paralysing fear. Be the small boat by helping each other, from stitching a mouth mask, to staying calm or at home of requested; from listening to each other, to telling jokes to wave away despair. Be the small boat. You too can have a huge impact.
You can be the small boat as much in daily life, with or without Corona, when facing other big challenges as climate change. Our world is full of change – on which I will write later on – yet, you can be part of it, you can contribute to it for the better. Never underestimate the impact of your own small moves, nor the ripple effects it can cause.
Set sail now. Be the small boat. The world needs you.
There is Hope in Times of Corona.Read back on one of the small moves you can do by reconnecting, or continue reading for other small moves to make.