Trust Horizon: In moments of crisis who do you trust?
Like a castaway on a desert island with the ship on the horizon the opportunities for help are limited. In moments of crisis, your nearest available trusted person is your trust horizon. The institutional support mechanisms may not be working in these times. Who can you support today or how can you learn to cope in these challenging days?
The Covid-19 pandemic is putting pressure on everyone. I think all of us have reflected on what is really important to us and how we are going to get through these days.
Our families, our colleagues, our health and our income can all succumb to this virus. People who have only just being getting by are now facing severe economic and physical hardship. People who were comfortable are forced to reflect in their government-imposed isolation.
Sometimes our hope comes from our resources but in times like this we need to look beyond ourselves. Thats what I mean by our Trust Horizon, we need to act locally and help our communities. There are different levels to the response and everyone’s needs are unique but looking after our neighbours builds a strong resilient community:
Family and friends
Providing for our own family, concern for our own health. Caring for aged parents wondering if we go and visit them will we make them sick? Wondering simply if we will be able to see them again. Or if they become ill will we be able to be with them at their darkest hour?
In my own street, there has been a growing sense of community spirit. We used to have a yearly street barbeque. But this year it’s different my street set up its own WhatsApp group to allow everyone to connect and share any needs like shopping or collecting prescriptions. I’m talking with neighbours I haven’t been able to interact much before all via WhatsApp. It’s ironic in a way that getting closer to my neighbours has been through us each self-isolating in our homes!
Many faith based institutions are stepping up to the mark and providing much needed support to the vulnerable and the weak. Not only providing food but spiritual, mental and emotional support.
There has been a great initiative in my area that has coordinated the response with all the churches and the local council to provide a centralised hub to support the community.
Food banks are seeing a growth in demand as people struggle to put the basics on the table with a reduced income. I have spent some time volunteering and it has been great to see the generosity of the public and local businesses in giving their surplus supplies. But it has also been an eye opener at the number of people that are so vulnerable from the single Mums with no income to the elderly with no family. But through these community initiatives we are able to help those most in need.
The government are trying to keep the NHS going with moral support from all of us. As well as providing economic support for everyone, whether it is furlough or universal credit. But how long will it take to get this support? In the meantime a lot of the basic support services are understaffed or unavailable. Whether people will have the means to support themselves before it arrives is a very real question. This kind of support could be a lifeline when it arrives but in the meantime it is up to neighbours and the community to fill the gap.
Some are out of work or can’t work, others can work from home and others are furloughed. Its a time of uncertainty where we are struggling with home schooling and balancing work demands. Many industries and work places will not be the same again and many will be facing bankruptcy before this is all over.
What should we do to build a trust horizon?
In this challenging time, people are stepping up to support one another and building a community of trust. Here are some thoughts on building up that trust horizon in your community.
In all our relationships, care for those around you that you can help. Seek out the vulnerable and find out what help they need. There are many community based organisations that are able and willing to help in this crisis. Help where you can, volunteer your time if you are able.
Its a great time to pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t spoken to for ages, restore old relationships and encourage one another.
None of us know how long this will take. It will certainly take months before a vaccine is ready to deal with the physical effects of the virus. However the economic challenges that have arisen could lead to another Great Depression. What does it mean for the travel industry for sporting events, for pubs, bars and restaurants it could affect us for many months to come. What is sure is that that this is going to take time and the new normal may not be what we were expecting.
It’s easy to get cranky these days or have a sense of entitlement. Someone walks a bit too close to you and coughs or grabs the last loaf of bread in front of you. But we need to be compassionate and understand people are at different levels of crisis and limitations on how they can cope.
It is a time to put a structure to your day, find coping mechanisms to get through this. It is a time of mental stress and fear of the unknown. Those dealing with long term physical or mental illnesses this can be a breaking point but we have to be brave and ask for help or reach out and support others.
Most of all stay safe and do your best, to support those that you can but don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Reach out to the nearest person you trust. If everyone works together as a local community we can all get through this and be stronger as a result.
Some great resources if you are looking for inspiration at this time:
James Howard Kunstler is the author of The Long Emergency, Too Much Magic, The Geography of Nowhere, the World Made By Hand novels, and more than a dozen other books.
Jerry Colonna is fondly known as the CEO whisperer. He coaches some of the world’s biggest entrepreneurs – like the former CEO of Etsy and the folks who started Gimlet Media. He helps business leaders navigate uncertainty and chaos.