A few weeks ago, right before things got crazy, I went on a backpacking trip down the lost coast in northern California with two of my best friends. Over four days and 28 miles, we carefully made our way along the coastline, with the looming cliffs to our left and the vast Pacific Ocean to our right. There are segments of the trail that are impassable at high-tide, as there is no place to escape when the waves swallow the narrow beach and pummel the rocks and cliffs. We kept a tide-chart with us and only proceeded at low-tide, which was a beautiful reminder of just how powerless and small we are in the grand scheme; when the moon — our planet’s orbiting celestial body — pulled the ocean back, only then could we proceed.
It was a lesson in our own powerlessness in comparison to the cosmic interplay between planets and oceans. When those forces exert, I was reminded of how little I actually control in this world. It feels the same way with COVID-19. How will the unexpected, destabilizing event like this crisis remind us of our relative lack of power? And then, when we’re conscious that perhaps we are in less control of our lives and our organizations than we originally thought, how will we choose to show up?