That title is a fancy way of saying: Be resilient. Be flexible. Be adaptive. Learn and grow.
As Covid-19 swept through and changed the way we do everything on earth, I began to think of stories of people who innovated and changed, especially in times of crises:
- “Duff’s Ditch” – If you are from anywhere in Manitoba and especially Winnipeg, there is a good chance you heard this term used at some point. It was originally a derogatory nickname for the Red River Floodway, a giant canal connecting to the Red River at each end, sending floodwater around the West side of the city when needed. It was built in a dry season, so people were unhappy with how much money was being spent on a ‘ditch’ to circumvent flooding throughout an entire city, which happened on a fairly regular basis. Duff Roblin saw the need, promoted the idea for a number of years, and once Premier of Manitoba, saw the project take place. Saving the City of Winnipeg millions and millions of dollars over the years. (You can read more here: Duff’s Ditch)
- “Flattening the Curve” – One of my favourite comments regarding everyone needing to take extreme measures to avoid the spread of Covid-19 was this, “If we do everything right, people will think we’re idiots because it will look like everything was OK. But that will be because we did everything right.” (Probably misquoted, and I wish I remember who said it…but I’ve repeated it often since then) Manitoba did a great job of flattening the curve, partly because of population density, but mainly because people took heed and did what they could. Even through grumbling and bickering, we kept numbers low by changing the way we did things.
- “MJ’s Kafe” – Yes, this is a shout out to a local business. Partly because I got to know the people involved a little better through the pandemic crisis. There are a number of businesses I could mention, but I was particularly impressed with Brian and his crew for how they changed and adapted to keep things moving. When I asked him about his tactics, he simply talked about the community at large and needing to take care of those who were part of the MJ’s family. So he got creative with the restaurant layout, how he advertised, and anything he could do to keep spirits up and people employed. (If you want to check them out, here you go: MJ’s Kafe or here on Instagram)
And of course, there are the churches. We all worried, prayed, learned to use Zoom, and grew into new ways to gather…and will continue to do so. At Church of The Way, we needed our accessibility ramp updated so it could accommodate people in need during all four seasons of the year. Our resident handyman, with little announcement, planned the project, enlisted the help of a few key individuals, and made it happen. All when we could not traditionally gather.
There are so many stories of people finding ways to make things happen, providing hope to those around them, and showing that normal can be changed when necessary, to pave the way for a new normal. It is not comfortable, but we can learn and grow through it.
So how have you innovated into a new normal?