Letter From the Editor | Issue #9World Events
In this week’s edition of Insight, I would like to offer some reflections on the current situation we all find ourselves in; the crisis that seems to be never ending and that has confined almost the entire world to their homes.
There are so many things that should be addressed, so many consequences that we yet have to imagine and so much suffering that we may never know about, because it happens exactly within the four walls of the home. Normally people feel safe at home—but now most especially women and children find themselves living amid hell while suffering both violence and abuse. According to the UN, the pandemic has reversed decades of equality, and in this edition our Voice Phumza Dyani talks about the human resilience that is needed in facing the challenges ahead.
At SHE Community we are all communicating by zoom and email, much like most businesses. Of course, this defines our every day—our mood and our emotional well-being. After speaking with my boss and colleagues, as well as friends who naturally find themselves in the same situation, I wanted to share what I believe can be defined as the three L’s of the pandemic.
In a pandemic that has taken so many lives, loneliness has become perhaps one of the consequences that most people can relate to – in some way or another. Many—too many, have lost people they love. The loneliness in the wake of death, but also in the absence of family for people at their death bed.
However, loneliness does not only relate to the massive loss that comes with death. Loneliness has also become a devastating reality for so many people living alone in quarantine with little possibility of interacting with other people. Not to mention those who suffer from anxiety as a consequence of the pandemic, and who will potentially suffer for years to come.
The pandemic is hard on everyone, but still, it is harder on some people than on others. This is the time for all of us to reach out—be that to a friend, a family member, or a colleague.
In the upcoming SHE Conference, we have devoted one session to mental health called Dare to Be Vulnerable. I believe this is true; we should dare to be vulnerable, while we should also dare to be strong for the people who need us the most. We are in this together—even though it may feel very lonely sometimes.
Many of us have been confined to the house and a virtual reality, which in many cases results in both zoom fatigue and Netflix coma. Luckily for Norway, we were never confined to the house without the possibility to go outside for a walk or a jog. Internet training is not the same thing, but apart from physically working out, it seems like mental laziness unfortunately has become quite common as well. It is difficult to keep motivation up.
When I spoke with one of my colleagues yesterday, he said something absolutely true: It is easy to fall into a black hole being confined to the house. That is why it is even more important to find a way to spark up your life by doing something meaningful that gives you joy.
Personally, I was so inspired this week to listen to some amazing investors from NYC, talking about philanthropy and helping girls further their education and how companies are supporting non-profits helping those in need during the pandemic. For example, you can read about Arabella advisors in this week’s piece about New York City. Please follow the link to Girls Rising to see the work that is being done to help underprivileged girls receive education.
In difficulties and crisis, we look towards our leaders to give us both answers and hope.
I believe Norwegians have been quite lucky in this regard, having had our Prime Minister communicate with us regularly to explain to all residents the gravity of the situation and share her compassion and understanding. She has urged us to do the right thing for the greater good. It has been said that the countries with female leaders have tackled the crisis better, but personally I believe it both premature and too much of generalization to claim such a thing.
However, leadership is more than just state and government. Leadership is also the boss at work, or the person keeping the household together. It is about giving your employees and family the same hope and support that you would want to have. And it is about leading yourself, taking leadership of your own day by trying to make the best of it and to use the time you have at home to be inspired and to think new ways.
We do not know how long we will be in this crisis, but we know that it will take a majority of us to rebuild our societies and offer support to those in need. We must take responsibility each in our own way; take lead in our own day to contribute to the bigger picture that we are all a part of.
Please join us for the SHE Conference the 5th of March lasting two weeks with daily sessions aimed at inspiring you to take part of the change we want to see in the world.
Because together we change.
Editor in Chief
SHE Community’s Insight Magazine