From The Principal

Tena koutou katoa. Nga mihi atawhai nui.

Bitter or Better? This title intrigued me as I was sent a link to this website . The author is Carolyn Stuart and I had worked with her on IT issues in the past and remember a wonderfully entertaining dinner we shared at a conference in Wellington. Carolyn is a very vivacious and, as you will read below, an astute thinker. I have now subscribed to her blog ‘Thursday Thinking’ and would like to share last week’s edition:

‘Recently I have found myself overthinking my sneezes. By this I mean, each time I sneeze, I immediately go to “is this Covid?” With Omicron rampant in the community, it might well be. Equally it might be the result of a lifelong allergy to household dust! Up until this moment, I have never given a sneeze a second thought. How things have changed.

Thinking about this in terms of the pandemic, Covid has and continues to make us all think differently about things. Whether it is something as small as ‘what does this sneeze mean?’ or much larger puzzles such as ‘what do I need to prioritise at this time?’ or ‘how are we going to manage this?’ Covid has certainly given us many opportunities to develop new skills and knowledge.

As far as I can see, there are two ways we can respond to this. The first way is to be bitter about all the things we have missed out on as a result of Covid and focus on how much harder life is when you are wrangling an epidemic.

Alternatively, we can use the pandemic to make us better people and celebrate all our new ways of thinking and doing.

For example, prior to the pandemic I would have argued that you could never run a design thinking workshop online. But do you know what? You can. I have learnt to coach leaders online. In fact, I find this easier now than face-to-face.

Perhaps what we all need to be learning through this season is something Christopher Robin once said to Pooh:

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” — Christopher Robin to Pooh, A.A. Milne

We can’t control what the future may hold. The fact is we never could but it seems to take a pandemic or natural disaster to remind us of this. What we can do though is control our response to what stands in front of us. We get to choose our next step.

We also get to choose whether as a result of the pandemic we are bitter or better people. I’m choosing better’.

season of Lent, let’s give up being bitter and remember, with hopeful joy, that the resurrection is coming.