A message from our Founder and CEO, Xenios Thrasyvoulou:
I’m a big believer in trying to find whatever positives one can muster from whichever situation we are in, however sad or tragic it may be. Positivity is needed to enhance our chances of survival. Negativity, self-pity, panic and helplessness will only put us into a more deadly spiral.
COVID-19 is a crisis that’s testing humanity right now. Many people are losing their loved ones, many people are suffering, and many more lives will sadly be lost. Many will face financial ruin. This is a huge tragedy. We should all try to help where we can and lead by example. But we must stay positive and be grateful for what we do have.
We are grateful first and foremost to the heroes in medical services for pulling through in such tough, nerve-racking times and for those workers who keep much needed public services running for society to function even at its minimalistic state.
At our parent company, PeoplePerHour.com, we have already pledged £5m since the start of the year to help small businesses continue working with freelancers, and we have just announced that we are doubling that to £10m. Since the company’s foundation in 2007, our purpose and mission has been to help small businesses and the self-employed freelance community succeed, by connecting them together for project work. At times like these we dig in to provide not just the platform that connects them, but also financial support to further that cause.
Equally at TalentDesk.io, we are proud to be serving a purpose that is in much needed use globally right now. As part of this purpose, we have decided to waive all software licensing fees on our platform from 1st April through 1st July, 2020. We believe that by enabling businesses - large or small - to remotely collaborate with all their freelancers and employees, we are playing our part in helping them continue their work seamlessly and at scale, and weather the storm. It’s important we all play our part and act as leaders in such difficult times, paving through and setting the example where we can.
But it’s equally important we learn from this crisis and – as hard as it sounds – stay positive. The worst we can do to accentuate a negative situation is get into a spiral of negativity and helplessness: a vicious cycle that traps us in a state of panic from which we cannot escape.
It’s important we remain calm, composed, focussed and – again paradoxical or controversial as this may sound – try to find some positives from this test on humanity that has been imposed upon us.
For me below are just some of the things this crisis ought to teach us
Reminding us humans that we are not invincible (something we do tend to forget); bringing sanity back to the world
Reminding people to be good, kind and empathetic
Reminding us that nothing is forever. To never take anything for granted
Reminding us that staying resilient and adaptable to change is paramount for survival. If it’s not COVID-19 it will be something else in the years to come (as it’s been historically: threat of terrorism, war, the rise of populism, climate change, the AIDS threat a few decades ago etc.)
Reminding us that staying lean and agile, resilient and flexible, even at good times has its merits. Cutting out unnecessary cost, even in the upturns, and “trimming the excess fat” at all times.
Reminding us of the importance of humility, focus, balance and equanimity
Reminding us of the importance of looking inside ourselves, being introspective and self reflective. Finding stillness, looking inside when when one can’t go outside
Reminding us of the importance of great leadership at times of need. We all need to be leaders when the world seems to be falling apart. Maintain calm and composure, think clearly with logic and unemotionally, take bold and decisive action where needed
Reminding us, again, of the darwinian doctrine, of the survival of not necessarily the fittest but the most adaptable to change
I hope, and really do believe, that we will all come out stronger from this crisis. The world is healing, nature is reviving, we are all taking a mandatory break from the craziness, from living a high frequency life where we lose ourselves and our core values. We forget to love, to show empathy and exude positive energy, to self reflect and find stillness. We are living in constant bombardment of information, going through the motions of life without being truly present, constantly on the go. It’s like life passes us and we are never there.
Shocks to our system like these – painful as they may be – is the bitter medicine we sometimes need to take. It’s Mother Nature showing us much needed tough love. It’s a slap in the face we all need to ‘get real’ again and go back to basics. Back to the core values that make the world a better place: compassion, empathy, love, connectedness, working together as one.
In adverse times like these humanity magically comes together. We stop fighting and bickering over immaterial things. In the face of adversity we realise how ridiculous those things are. A quarrel with your neighbour who is threatening litigating, lawsuits at work on grounds completely unfounded, feuds and arguments with friends and foes or business associates over matters mainly of ego. Disgruntlement, complaints and whimsical demands over trivial matters that all of a sudden seem so banal and pointless.
Yet as human beings designed to think emotionally and governed by our egos we have evolved our lives and designed systems of coexistence where so much energy is expended in such trivial matters. An utmost wasteful and inefficient design.
Times like these remind us of what truly matters in life. Being present in the moment, being happy, being kind and thoughtful, being grateful for what we have, putting positive energy in the universe to get positive things coming back, caring for Mother Earth and its nature, caring for other people, avoiding such trivial pursuits steered by anger and governed by ego, seeking stillness, focus, introspection, leading when others fail to do so, with composure and equanimity, setting the example by leading, remaining positive and keeping faith in the remarkable powers and dexterity humanity has exhibited many a time throughout our history.
We’ve been through much worse in our history as humans and we’ve come out stronger. We’ve been through world wars, famine, much bigger pandemics when we were much less equipped to deal with them, natural catastrophes and much more. We’ve always survived and we’ve always come out stronger. But we need to stay positive.
Crises like those remind us that only by coming together can we survive big humanitarian threats. Together we are one.
So let’s choose to focus on the positives and let’s learn from this crisis, so that when we get through to the other side, as we always do, we will come out stronger.