Bringing out the best in humanity
Over the last decade, we have seen some pretty atrocious things done by humans to fellow humans.
US High School shootings
Since the pandemic has begun, we have seen some pretty amazing things happen (you do have to look closely, as we know the media loves misery).
It always amazes (and saddens me) that at times of great need, the world comes up with the most amazing effort to help their fellow human. We have seen some unbelievable examples of this in the last 14 days:
University College London and Mercedes F1 have made a breathing aid for Coronavirus patients which transports oxygen to the lungs reducing the need for a ventilator.
Germany offering to take in patients from Italy as well as France with the country’s air force transporting patients to hospitals in the country.
One couple from East Yorkshire, were scheduled to marry last weekend. When the reception was called off, they chose to divert all of their catering to more than 400 hospital workers in Hull instead.
On Thursday night, after a co-ordinated effort across social media, the UK stopped at 8pm to go outside and indulge in a huge applause for all our NHS staff and carers fearless fighting the disease on the front line (this was one of the most overwhelming things I ever witnessed – which was a weird feeling stood half hanging out of my front room window).
The mass sign up to volunteer help the NHS (over 700,000 to date).
Google will reveal many more amazing acts of kindness that people have rallied together and done (if you’re ever sick about reading the increasing death toll, then have a butch at them).
There have been two main acts of kindness which have affected me on a personal level as well as a business level.
Firstly, business: when Rishi Sunak announced the government employee retention scheme. I was literally watching this in (mild) disbelief, and through teary eyes (the Mrs was chopping onions for the bolognese). Realistically it not only allowed me to retain some amazing and extremely talented members of staff, but also took some of them out of some potentially perilous situations that my knee jerk decision making would have put them in over the next few months. After the announcement, the relief was palpable and bolognese palatable (although no parmesan so 6.5/10 from me). There was a lot of derision online about people who acted too quickly and moved staff on before fully understanding the situation – I am just glad that those people who made the accusation of knee-jerking were right and, that we should have waited to see what the government announced. That is one situation I would not have wanted to been right on.
Secondly, personal: I am working on a General Manager role for a company in China. So I have been having lots of conversations with people in this area in the past 6 months. Any consultant will tell you that talking to candidates, learning from and about them is one of the most rewarding parts of the job (we’re not all just £££ focussed yano). Well, I was mid-conversation with a candidate who is based in Singapore at the moment, and as time went on and our dialogue grew, so did the COVID-19 situation in the UK. Sharing my concerns and worries with someone who has been through it was actually extremely holistic and I really benefitted from hearing about his experience of it so far. This gentleman asked me for my address (not a usual protocol in the recruitment process) and let me know he was sending over a package. Well today, we received the most beautifully wrapped set of facemasks (the proper N95 ones) for my family and I, from the gentleman. We’re not in the same continent, we’re only ever spoken on video, we’re in what many people would consider a transactional business relationship, but this amazing, kind human being took time and expense from his day to send me over some face masks, which he knew would reassure me when going out in public.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you Wei Jin Ng.
With all of this in mind, I will leave you with what I think will be a career-defining quote from big man Rishi:
“When this is over – and it will be over – we want to look back on this moment and remember the small acts of kindness done by us and to us. We want to remember how we thought first of others and acted with decency… it’s on all of us”
Stay safe and stay healthy everyone.