Hope Springs Eternal

Lately, I have had several conversations with people who, at the top of their professional games lost their jobs. After long and frustrating periods of unemployment, they are finding themselves in new and very different roles.  Many have taken positions with start -ups, or much smaller companies. Some, like me, have diversified a bit. All are earning a fraction of their previous salaries.
Although nobody is happy with this financial shift, all are thrilled to be working, and feel a renewed sense of self worth and creativity that had diminished during their unemployment.

Clearly, life as we know it may never be the same. After more than 2 years of life altering events, it sometimes felt like the proverbial world was coming to an end.  Lately, there are signs of economic hope that lead us to believe that the world is slowly coming alive again. While things may never return to what they were, a new normal will prevail.

This moment in time reminds me of a scene in the movie “WALL E”.  In this wonderful Pixar animated story, life on Earth ended, and everyone that survived were living in outer space, being shuttled around on moving chairs, slurping some concoction from large glasses passed to them by robots.  Every so often, a probe was sent down to see if the planet was inhabitable yet.

On the ground, all that survived was a rusty old robot named WALL E, and an intrepid cockroach. Much action ensues, but at the end, the probe comes down and sees that a tiny sprig of greenery has poked through the dry and withered Earth. At this point, we realize that in time, there will be life on Earth again.  It won’t happen quickly, and it won’t return to what it was  (and what we plainly took for granted and abused in the first place) but it will return. That moment of optimism is a powerful one.

As we stand here surveying the damage to our world and dealing with the fallout, it is a relief to see that metaphorical little leaf emerge.It is important for us to recognize what that little sprig of hope means to our future; for us to nurture it and appreciate how fragile it is. We are on the precipice of the next phase of our lives.  It ‘s up to us to design our own destiny, and to create our next legacy.

What will you do?

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