• Julie Boake

When it's dark, you see the stars.

With a lockdown on the horizon, this may be a good time to find 5 minutes to write a blog.

Since the first day of the social-distancing announcement, the panic spread. I cannot blame anyone for their feelings, this is a completely new territory for people, businesses and our environment. You would think social media would make it easier for us all to sit 6ft apart, after all, we have become so accustomed to communicating not even being in the same room as each other.

This is a new territory for businesses though. For many their businesses rely on personal contact and the engagement, the face to face interactions and customer service. For restuarants, delivery seemed like a natural next step, for retail the online shopping was a natural partner, but we have missed many industries that have no secondary option - consider me cutting my hair via skype with my hairdresser... pretty sure the results will not be the same.

With adversity brings change, it brings opportunity and it brings out the best and the worst. The opportunists may hoard toilet paper and lysol, and without judgment, they can do what they choose, we don't know their story so we can dislike their choice but we don't know the level of fear or need they have.

We see the adaptors, the business owners that are willing to be flexible with their ways, open new doors (or not for safety) and find new ways to communicate with their customers, deliver their goods and stay in contact (a shout out to Kelsey for her online training). We have seen some move quickly to develop an online version of their delivery, sales or consultation. These businesses are the ones we applaud for their new adaptation to situations, their passion makes them forge ahead, a door shut and an opportunity opened.

We see those that stop, they freeze, they put everything on hold. They need to be putting their efforts elsewhere, family, friends, health and finances. There is nothing wrong with their choices, each of us do what we need to do to make our balance sheet stay green, or just black, anything but red.

Some don't have the resources to change the way they do business (remember your hairdresser, your cabbie, your dentist/optometrist/dr) but they would love to still be a part of your lives, the nature of their business makes it weird...

We see the change of personalities arise, we see the businesses throwing stones at others for staying open, or hating on the ones that can proceed and adapt. We see the glares, little comments, and curiosity from people on the outside wondering how they can do it as well, and do it safely. We may be jealous, envious or sad and we mis-direct that feeling into anger. This is a scary time, we are all entitled to our own feelings.

We see new champions arise, those that don't give up, they fight for the community, the come up with ideas, they band together and begin collaborations. They learn new technology, fill their boots and fill the hearts of others. They are not better, they are generally those that cannot sit still and would feel helpless if they were not doing something to move forward, move sideways or move their butt. We welcome these people, they keep our spirits up, our weight down and our mind and hearts full.

At the end of the day, we will not be judged for our business, we will have more said about us in a time of adversity and challenge and the choices we made to handle it. We will be remembered by how we made people feel, how we chose to proceed and the little things that made the difference. One day we will look back on all of this and we will never forget the free soup, the stickers, the drop offs and pick ups, the adapting, the buns and the smiles... we will remember who was there for the community.

We are stronger together, we will only be weakened by our judgement on others and the way we treated people in the times like these. Remember who made your day, who was still standing there because when it's dark outside, you really do see the stars.

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