The impact of COVID-19 and the lockdown are having a huge impact on the lives of the global population. Constantly seeing and hearing news about the problems, the statistics, and the hardship are making it more difficult to cope. We are all having to make changes and adjustments to our lives, and whilst the impact of these changes are really tough there are some positives that I always search for in every situation.
With the reduction in traffic, there is a huge improvement in the air quality and pollution levels around the world.
The unity that communities are displaying during this adversity is heartening. Small acts like our local security company patrolling our streets and asking the homeowners in our suburb to cheer them. Companies and individuals contributing financial and other resources to fight the pandemic is incredible.
Whilst not everybody is able to work from home, there are some advantages to it, spending less money on transport and less time commuting. Most people seem to be eating healthier home-cooked meals.
The banks, mobile phone companies, and other service providers have been trying to get us to “self-serve” for the last few years. Lockdown will force us to become more digital, and I feel that digital is one of the keys to sustainability
I am cognisant of the dichotomy of our society, and the digital era will not help put the next meal on the table. In Emerging markets our challenges will be different and it will be important for the African leaders to find extraordinary ways to help and support our population during these extraordinary times.
As far as Toastmasters go, watching the leadership team pull together to support you, our members has been a humbling experience. Watching those who have never had the opportunity to travel attend meetings all over the world has opened my eyes. Watching you, our members, work together to ZOOM in, to have a HANGOUT, to HOP ON A CALL, to connect and meet online is rewarding. I am heartened to see how many of the clubs are coming together online to continue their self-development journey.
I know that not every member has access to a device and connectivity, I know that some of you will have to choose between continuing your Toastmasters journey and feeding your families. If you are not able to renew your membership because of financial constraints and you wish to continue your journey, and grow and develop the skills that will stand you in good stead for the future, I urge you to consider applying for support from the Joe Garmeson Trust.
Stay Home, Stay Safe, Toastmasters and take #onestepforward
by Nikki Quinn