Priority no. 1

Margo Groeneveld
14 Jun 2020

Our jobs used to be about doing our jobs, getting through all the mails, awnsering calls, getting on time to our meetings, responding to the various social media accounts, dealing with immediate stuff, hitting targets and so on.

But that was when work was happening in an office. With group meetings happening face to face, with a certain amount of physical proximity. With a buzzing private life full of distractions. With children going to school. With holidays being planned. And with a thriving economy. Each living our own lives.

That was what life looked like at the beginning of this year. Blissfully ignorant of what was lying ahead of us.

And now…

Well, at least nature is blossoming more than it did ever before. Apparently the insect population (you know, that crucial lower part of the food chain) has diminished drastically over the last ten years, they get a chance to gather themselves. The sounds of traffic have gone quieter, while the sounds of people chattering and laughing fill up the air. When being out in nature the sounds of birds fill the air, more then they have done in years.

So that’s good!

Yet, the virus is still lingering out there. No one knows for how long. After the initial shock and containment of the virus, what we are and aren’t allowed to do keeps being changed. Most of us are still working out new routines in a life that has become exceptionally uncertain for our modern Western world. While many of us carry a sense of the upheaval we are going through and are waiting to see the actual (economic) impact of the crisis. While keeping 1.5m distance.

That’s alot…

Priority no. 1

The hardest part of a crisis is not the crisis itself, it’s the time that comes after. When reality kicks in and there is time to sit with what actually happened… and how that impacted us. The phase where we clean up the mess, work through the stuff and make meaning of it. That’s when the real work starts.

During this phase, our care for each other is our greatest medicine. We are wired to belong. To be seen and felt. Regardless of who we are. Regardless of our differences. Regardless of skin-colour…


  • Ask your relatives, friends and colleagues what’s alive for them. Ask them what they need.
  • If they are willing to share (they might not), listen to them. No agenda. No fixing.
  • Acknowledge what they are going through, let them have their process. Even if it makes you uncomfortable.

The time to do that, is now. It’s hard work. It can be messy work, particularly when emotions run high. I know… Genuine compassion for yourself and others can change these responses into loving and caring responses. And I truly believe that that will create the soil for a better, more caring and connected future.