Okay, I give! I don’t know what the right answer is these days but more importantly, I’m not sure anyone really does. It does seem though, there are a lot of people arguing about being right, wouldn’t you agree?
Admittedly, I like a good debate. And while I do generally appear to be pretty solid in my own position, I also love it when someone, equally as solid in theirs, gets me to move off mine. For me the debate is about uncovering how the other person is thinking about a topic and what real information or personal experience they bring to back up their argument. It is the back and forth. It is about being curious and working to understand a different perspective.
But while I do love a debate, these days it is getting harder and harder to know what is right or what is wrong and to in fact, be certain about a position. If you are like me, you hear from the medical experts who tell you shutting down this or that is what needs to done to keep people safe. At the same time, you hear from a different set of experts who warn about the harm these shutdowns are having on people’s emotional and mental health. Then along comes other experts who talk about the long term affects on our economy and how we will be paying for this for generations to come. I believe there is validity in each of their arguments.
What I find even more interesting though, is the reference to “everyone”. Over and over I hear various people making statements like, “everyone is struggling right now”, “everyone knows this is the logical thing that needs to be done”, “everyone is mad about this or that”. As they debate their position, they are using these arguments of “everyone” as if it were a fact.
There is a whole lot to be uncertain about, these days, but if there is one thing I am certain about, it is that one person or group does not represent “everyone”.
If they did then there wouldn’t be as much disagreement, as there is right now. There wouldn’t be as much arguing and fighting. There wouldn’t be the protests and social media fighting. People would feel free to say what they think, without fearing that someone else will come out and attack them. The proof is in the pudding.
So how does this all relate back to business, you might ask.
My caution is around buying into arguments that are measured by an absolute. If you think in absolutes, then you limit the possibility of anything else. If I believe that everything is bad, then there is no reason to seek out or to see the good. If I believe the economy will never recover, then why would I invest in my business. If you believe everyone is “fill in the blank”, then there is no potential they could be anything else. To buy in to one side is to limit your options. If you only ever see the glass as half empty, then it is hard to notice that it is also half full and visa versa.
If there is something I think many of us can agree on, it is that for our generation, the events happening today seem unprecedented. There is no rule book and we certainly won’t know how it turns out, until it is over. There will be sad things result from of it, and there will also be blessings. There will be some businesses that will falter and others that adapt to a different model and grow. There will be some of us who will experience this as the worst thing that has ever happened, and those who will see it as something entirely different. Finally there will be some who at the end of all of this will believe it was managed well and those who will believe the opposite.
And in the end, we will all be right and all be wrong, all at the same time.
There is never the perfect answer for everyone because there is no such thing but my message today is as long as you choose to stay open to all possibilities, there remains the chance to find one, for you!
Be kind….stay well!
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