After the Storm

When I lived in the quiet coastal CA town of Ventura in the early 2000s, my wife and I were always struck by the outpouring of compassion that we felt in everyday interactions following a storm. 

It’s no secret that Southern CA doesn’t get much rain, so when it comes, there’s a noticeable positive shift in how people act towards each other. You end up having conversations with people you normally wouldn’t. And there’s a body of science called biometeorology that backs this up. 

Whether it’s the restorative negative ions in the air or simply the feelings brought about by this shared experience, we are different after weathering a storm together. It bonds us together.

Similarly, there’s always the time during a big research study when we return from the field with everything we heard and learned swirling around in our heads.

It’s one part disorienting and one part energizing.

While we might want to crawl under a rock, we remind ourselves that this is an important part of the process. We discover the best insights by supporting each other, staying present, and mindfully sitting with the piles of notes and transcripts.

It seems like that’s where we all are right now—in our personal lives, in our businesses, communities, and the world.

What we’re experiencing together right now is a storm of uncertainty.

We’re in the disorienting middle part of not knowing what lies ahead, but we’re all dealing with it together.

History tells us that we will emerge, but after the rawness starts to fade from our collective memory and we’re back into our normal busy everyday routines, what will we take away from this experience?

As we sit mindfully during this storm, let’s consider how to support each other and maintain the compassion and bonds even after the crisis is over.