A turning point isn’t just about the thing that changes everything, it is about the direction we take afterwards. Our responses. Good and bad. While some will always blame others and the events, there is a growing number of people who are making deliberate decisions about their life and work. About how they show up on a day to day basis.
It’s Friday today and I’m musing. A week where I got a lot done. Yet, that “a lot done” didn’t include finishing a blog post on a topic I’m currently researching. It happens. There were just other priorities more pressing. So, I put aside the deeper post and decided instead to muse this week. Muse not only means an outside source of inspiration; it can mean to do some self-reflection. In this sense to be our own muse.
I looked back over some old posts of mine to be inspired and came across one where I looked at the differences between Breakthroughs and Turning Points. That post was inspired by a personal belief that in our times we spend too much energy seeking breakthroughs when what really happens around us is a turning point we’re called about to respond to. I also believe we benefit from taking the long view to notice them so that we aren’t blindsided. And make decisions on what we are doing in light of it.
To refresh, a turning point is a historical point in time when an event, decision and/or people alter the course of what comes after. That moment is likely not a specific point in time, it is often something more gradual. With multiple things feeding into it. Turning things slowly weeks, months and even years. Something we don’t notice until we notice. Though with us human beings being somewhat ego self-referencing creatures, we consider the turning point to be the moment we notice. The whole tree falls in the forest thing in extreme.
One historical turning point in history have been the invention of the printing press. Which then gave rise to the accessibility of knowledge by average people rather than just elites and clergy. Fueling the reformation with both the publication of the Bible and Martin Luther’s works. Increasing scientific discovery with easier sharing of information. Increasing the sharing of political and populous thought.
The internet and the rise of social media have had a similar impact on our world. Don’t all of us wonder what we ever did before we could google it first. Again, an increase in the accessibility of knowledge and communication.
2020 is going to go down as a momentous year. A time when a lot of different things came to a head. It may look different in hindsight but standing in the middle of 2020 it does feel like a major inflection point in time. Not just medically, but also socially, politically, and economically.
But the world has seen other plagues and pandemics before. With the one 100 years ago also occurring in the middle of a world war. What makes this one different? (Though one could argue some were turning points too.) Is it that it’s happening too us? Right now? Are we that self-referential?
I think a lot of what will make this a turning point will be seen in what happens next. Not just in 2020. But in 2021 and 2022. How will we individually and collectively respond to this. Because in some ways a turning point isn’t just about the thing that changes everything, it is about the direction we take afterwards. Our responses. Good and bad.
A lot of those changes are about how we occupy the planet and interact with each other.
While some will always blame others and the events, there is a growing number of people who are making deliberate decisions about their life and work. About how they show up on a day to day basis. And how they interact with others – family, friends, coworkers, customers…
In my yoga class this morning, my teacher used a word we yogi’s use a lot – mindfulness.
I was reflecting on how we’ve lost some spontaneity because we have to think ahead, book the class and bring our own stuff. We have to truly commit to going to the class ahead of time. She said on the other hand we are called on to be more aware and deliberate about what we do right now. We are more mindful.
Maybe it is how human’s react in crisis. When we can’t see too far into the future, we become more present in the here and now. And make more deliberate decisions.
Will this increased awareness of our world remain? Is this truly a turning point in human consciousness? Or will it all revert after a vaccine is widely distributed.
I’m hopeful that a lot of us have changed. And for the better. And it makes a difference in our direction.