Sometimes, simply hearing that someone else is feeling the same way as you, brings comfort.
It reminds us that we aren’t alone. That we are understood. Our beautiful MM team, have agreed to get vulnerable. To share each week, how they are feeling, how they are navigating these strange times. We hope that these little snippets of vulnerability can bring strength and solidarity. We are in this together.
I feel very humbled to be asked, but also a lot of pressure, following what I have found to be truly inspiring and courageous Thoughts From Home by everyone in the Maggie Marilyn team who went before me.
I have been extremely fortunate to work with the beautiful human beings who make up Maggie Marilyn for over 2 years now as their sustainability consultant.
As I write I am in my Auckland apartment sitting at my makeshift home desk (a small camping table someone had left behind to be thrown in the trash at a festival I went to a few years ago) with my laptop stacked on a pile of books, looking out across neighbourhood known as Kingsland.
Across the road is the Cat Lady. A local celebrity who spends her government support money on buying cat food to feed the neighbourhood stray cats. She has recently taken to also feeding a flock of seagulls who turn up at the same time every day ready to scrap over, what I assume are cat biscuits. It’s a bit of a spectacle. Needless to say, Cat Lady is a controversial figure.
I tell you this because to me it symbolises normality.
Now the Cat Lady is back doing her thing it feels a bit like life is back to how it was.
Except it’s not.
It will never be the same as it was before ‘The Vid’.
For some, that may sound dark and ominous but I say it with optimism and enthusiasm.
The long-lasting impacts of the global pandemic won’t be known for some time yet, and I don’t think anyone knows what will happen. Although there are many who like to tout themselves as experts and put forward their predictions it seems there are just as many saying the opposite.
What I do know for certain is how I will react. That after all is the one thing I can control, right?
Going through this experience has further strengthened my resolve to do all I can to make sure the world I leave behind is better than I found it. (Imagine if that was a law all businesses had to follow…?). I know I will continue to spend my time and energy helping people, like the Maggie Marilyn team, build businesses that regenerate the communities and ecosystems they operate in and share their prosperity. I will continue to volunteer for two organisations that are dear to my heart. And I will continue to only hand over money to business people who share my values and principles. As someone really smart once said, “every dollar you spend is a vote for the world you want to live in.”
Working as a sustainability consultant I am required to keep up to speed with the latest developments in terms of our climate crisis, biodiversity loss, soil degradation, pollution, diet-related illness, human exploitation, inequality and all these other global issues that can really get you down, and do get me down.
But in this role, I am also incredibly fortunate to work with inspiring human beings who share my values, principles and optimism of a regenerated, circular and inclusive world. People who are actively bringing about hugely positive changes.
I’m definitely feeling this tension more acutely following the experience of The Vid. It’s a tension between those who benefit from this outdated and unsustainable economic system we have inherited (and those who don’t have the capacity to imagine a better way), and those of us who know we are capable of so much more.
Knowing what I’ve learnt about how sick our planet is the decisions we make over the next 6 to 18 months as business people, as customers, as voters, as communities, and as a society will impact our future world more than any other period in our lives. It’s a lot to take in and it’s not something everyone wants to think about, but that’s our shared reality.
The shared problems we faced before the global pandemic have not gone away, but the opportunity to set ourselves on a far better path has just landed in our laps. I only hope enough good people realise that.
Those are my thoughts from home as I watch the Cat Lady feeding gulls.