Recalibrate - but to what?
Recently, I’ve been hearing the word recalibrate used a lot as people are dislodged from their comfort zones into complete uncertainty. It’s been going on for months, long before COVID-19 but, much of it concerned topics that many had no personal experience with. And, when an issue doesn’t touch you or someone you know, when it’s not up front and center in your life, it can be hard to relate to - except perhaps on principle.
There isn’t even a definition for recalibrate other than to calibrate again. Calibrate means to reset to an accepted standard, one that can be measured and used as a benchmark. One that the community agrees is appropriate, acceptable and adequate as a base line. As human beings, we strive to create standards that are fair and reasonable that meet our moral code of permissibility.
Basic standards such as human kindness, shared abundance, the gift of education, the freedom to be who you are and live your life without judgment are sometimes overshadowed by self-preservation or an attitude of self-entitlement. And, just like companies that suffer from periodic bouts of mission drift, so do we as a human race. Inevitably, there will be a course correction, a recalibration showing us how far we have drifted from our basic standards of humanity.
The MeToo movement appears to have changed the course of history as more and more women are stepping into leadership roles. But, don’t look too far or you may witness female leaders being flogged for human rights activism or an increase in the sex slave trade. You may oppose gun control, but have you lost a child to a senseless shooting? You may talk about climate control and the failure of our politicians to fix it but, what measures have you personally taken? Are we recalibrating on these issues or waiting and watching?
We now have an issue touching all of us. Sight unseen, its tendrils are far reaching. Whether its experiencing lack of abundance of resources, isolation, financial upheaval from loss of income or hard-earned wages in retirement funds, childcare that shows up through our public schools and other forms of support and, the saddest loss of all, human life – each of us has been impacted.
So, I have to ask – what are we recalibrating to and against? Yes, we are tacking and adjusting but those are measures that often don’t reflect a standard that our communities have agreed starts with our values - the things that we hold dear. It’s simply a response, a reaction. True calibration is a full reset, not just mission drift. It’s a course correction.
Many of you have told me this week that you have never appreciated teachers more as you try to learn the subjects of long ago that are dramatically different, even as you handle the pent up energy of your children. Are you tacking or recalibrating? Will you fight for higher pay for these valued souls when things get back to normal? Will you make sure that they have the resources that they need? Will you become more involved in your children’s education?
Some either overbought TP or groused about those who did. Others were innovative buying bidet spray attachments never to worry about this issue again - thereby saving countless trees on our planet. Many realized that they could hold productive meetings on Zoom, reducing travel and car time. And we fell in love with the Italians all over again as they sang together out of their windows each night to remind their neighbors they were there for them. Some brought food to the elderly and those unable to stand in long lines.
You can actually see fish in the canals of Venice now without the boat traffic, we forget what a beautiful city it is to walk. There has been a noticeable drop in pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in some nations because of the temporary closing of factories and reduced transportation. We have been reminded that we can address climate change effects if we will just pause and think creatively rather than our continued “bull in a china shop approach.”
Has it had a huge impact on the economy and most individuals? Absolutely. Is there a better way to move forward? Absolutely. Do we get a mulligan? Absolutely.
So, is this a recalibration for you, a course correction or a temporary detour? Is it a chance for humanity to do it better, to forgo the old ways for innovative new ones? Absolutely.
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All rights reserved – Linda Lattimore