My husband, Andrew, and I have adopted an evening ritual of taking a drive together after work. It’s our mindful way of shifting gears, reconnecting and weaving play into our days. We took our convertible out for a spin on a bright, sunny, cool, picture perfect day- a rarity in NC this time of year. We lowered the top, buckled in and turned on the radio. We were met with a flashback sound of 10,000 Maniacs singing These Are Days that filled the airwaves. We smiled, traveled to a very different time in our lives and cranked it up. As I listened to the first few lines, I felt my heart swell. They registered differently with me than they did in 1992. I thought about Robert Buck, Natalie Merchant and the relevancy their prophetic words have right now, in 2020.

“These are days, we’ll remember. Never before and never since, I promise, will the whole world be warm as this, and as you feel it you’ll know it’s true, that you are blessed and lucky, it’s true, that you are touched by something, that will grow and bloom in you.”

As a world, we’ve been brought to our knees in humility by nature we cannot control. Every single one of us has been affected by these weird and uncertain days. What we’ve experienced is different from one person to the next, depending on our circumstances. The single thing most everyone can agree on is that Robert and Natalie were right when they said the whole world has never been as warm as this. In the midst of this disaster we’ve said yes to the challenges of the unknown, becoming kinder, more patient and more human in all aspects of our lives, including our work.

These days, our business lives and our personal lives are sharing more common space on the Venn diagram of self than ever before. As we’ve logged into Zoom, Google Hangouts, Teams or the like, we’ve invited one another into our private sanctuaries. We’ve let down our guard and allowed ourselves to be vulnerable. We’ve shown up to meetings raw and unfiltered, trading our ties for baseball caps and t-shirts, introducing our families to our co-workers and clients, petting our critters, patiently maintaining fluid thoughts over the droning sound of lawnmowers, rocking our little ones to sleep while negotiating deals, sharing our fears, consoling our collective worries and learning to trust one another with it all.

These days have given us a chance to offer views into the human dimensions we didn’t bring into our work, B.C. These days have allowed us to realize the power of kindness, shift our perspective, cultivate empathy and understand one another differently. These days have given us a chance to appreciate our full selves, without judgement. These days, business is more human now than it has ever been. The absence of ego and posturing have created much needed space for collaboration, transparency, humility, humor and let’s not forget, kindness.

During these days where we are beginning to slowly stretch, shake off the COVID dust and reset, I hope we remember some of the human lessons we’ve learned. I hope we remember that:

  • We can be vulnerable and strong at the same time.

  • Talking with our faces is more interesting.

  • Pausing for real conversation before starting meetings, makes meetings better, for everyone.

  • Smiling with our eyes is powerful.

  • Saying thank you is the wisest one second investment we can make.

  • Working together makes us happier and more magical.

  • Balance is possible and necessary.

  • We all have something unique we can offer everyday, so we should.

  • We need each other.

Most of all, I hope we remember to be kind. These days have offered us lessons about ourselves that can forever change us. We can keep our “world as warm as this”, if we hold them close, make them important and remind each other of the ways we became better because of these days. If we do, we’ll allow those lessons to grow, bloom and become part of us in all of the days that follow these.