We offer essays and videocasts that outline ways in which we can collectively address the challenges posed by the virus.
Window to Outside World: Use A Video Conferencing Tool
A key to engaging with people and organizations outside your home is connecting via your computer and a video conferencing platform. You need to be in touch with other people and it is fortunate that the virus has hit just at the time when most of us have computers and just in time for the introduction of powerful software tools that enable us to talk to and see other people from our community–and from around the world.
Several video conferencing platforms are available, one of which is the widely-popular Zoom. Because of its rapid expansion during the pandemic, Zoom has experienced some growing pains–including pains associated with security. Nevertheless, Zoom should be considered. Here is the link to a special page that Zoom has prepared regarding the Pandemic.
Two of the other platforms to consider are Webex (a Cisco product) and Microsoft Team. Here are links to both of these sites:
A Comprehensive Response
To set the foundation for this set of concepts and tools for taking action, we offer an essay that identifies four different responses to the virus and suggests ways in which these four responses can be brought together in offering a comprehensive response. Attention is focused specifically on leadership and strategies.
Communities of Heart
Heart is at the heart of the matter regarding finding support and offering support outside of our own homes. It is in communities that we will find the ultimate solutions to the problems associated with the virus. We are already seeing some communities around the world that are witnessing a downturn in new infections. These are communities that have taken collective action.
Heart is at the heart of a community providing support and guidance to its members. In many ways, the notion of heart-filled communities goes back to the penetrating analysis conducted by Alexis de Tocqueville in the early 19th Century in his assessment of American democracy and the role played by communities in supporting true democracy. His analysis was revised in the late 20th Century by Robert Bellah and his associates in several books, beginning with Habits of the Heart. An overview of the work done by de Tocqueville and Bellah is provided in an essay to which we provide the link:
While the de Tocqueville and Bellah analyses are specific to the United States (and Canada in the case of de Tocqueville’s analysis), we believe that the insights being offered and challenges being posed are relevant to communities throughout the world.
It is also important to note that with a community of heart and the foundations of democracy that underlie such a community (according to de Tocqueville) there is a pull toward political discourse. This might be of some value in the formulation of public policies regarding a pandemic and might even reduce some individual or collective anxiety.
The politicization of the pandemic can also be distracting and disruptive of conversations needed at another level–regarding the head and heart of one’s confrontation with this major health challenge. One of the members of our Global Psychology Task Force, Kendell Munzer, has written an essay about this pull toward politics:
Building a Neighborhood Community
What does a community of heart look like in the age of coronavirus? We have been told many wonderful stories about how neighbors are building a new community to share support and encouragement with one another.
Here is a link to a very special example of this neighborly support in a Baltimore Maryland neighborhood.
[To access this videocast, copy the link presented below and paste it in the browser (long diagonal box at top of your Internet page). Then click on the address that appears just below the browser. It should take you right to the videocast which you activate by clicking on the “play” arrow.]
We offer further examples in the following essay posted on this website:
Building Communities of Support. Health and Commerce
Dr. William Bergquist, member of the Global Psychology Task Force offers insights and suggestions concerning the ways in which we can build an access communities of care and support. communities of health, and communities of commerce.
In building these communities of heart — whether they be focused on care, health or commerce, we often discover unknown strengths in ourselves and in other members of our new communities. One of our task force members, for instance, recently received a facebook posting (via You Tube) of her dentist singing her own version of the Bohemian Rhapsody. Not only is the dentist a good singer, she is also a very clever lyricist offering advice through her singing about not only oral health but also other virus-related health habits.
Yet another surprise was reported by a task force member regarding a colleague’s hidden photographic talents. Her colleague (a college professor) is posting wonderfully soothing pictures on facebook–complete with soundtrack (his favorite music). We can offer many other examples regarding the surfacing of hidden talents, but the singing dentist and photographing teacher illustrates the point: communities of heart are often communities of personal and collective invention. Once hidden talents are revealed on behalf of the community — and appreciated by other members of the community.
Re-Building the Post-Virus Organizations
The Pandemic provides an opportunity for not only the reinvention and reengagement of communities, but also the re-building (even re-invention) of the organizations in which we work.
Two members of the Global Psychology Task Force, Drs. Kevin Weitz and Larry Hiner, offer their own perspectives, as experienced organizational consultants and coaches, on the challenges and opportunities available to 21st Century organizations as they confront COVID-19:
Can there be organizations-of-heart that complement the communities-of-heart in which we live?