In the UK things are opening up again. People are returning to the shops, pubs and restaurants. We are social beings and are thriving being back together. Although it is really wonderful I worry, like others, about a full return back to our busy ways, as there have been some wonderfully peaceful times during lockdown.
The problem is I notice the bits I dislike more than the things I like. The busy roads, the moodiness of people who can’t go fast enough, the sense of anxiety that there’s something being missed out on. I sometimes feel that humans are like a dog chasing their tail, with the tail representing our unknown desires.
Surely we realised during lockdown that simply sitting in our garden or going for a walk in the park was enough to keep us happy. That we could live on less and simply enjoy the entertainment we had from our family or the multiple digital devices we can access.
I know we missed stuff and for sure, I’ve missed seeing Mum, dancing and going to the sea, but should I be looking over my shoulder again outside lockdown thinking that at this particular point in time I could be happier somewhere else? This other place is constantly being sold to us in a stream of adverts and social media posts, in conversations with friends and family.
The problem is, I don’t buy it. A good conversation, drink and some food being shared, with good music, outside, is where I am happiest. That doesn’t need to be at the sea or in a foreign land, it can be in my garden.
And more and more I’m realising that good conversation simply comes from not looking far for company, but engaging in the local community. Surely that’s what other people have found as well during lockdown, with all of the anecdotal claims that people have met their neighbours for the first time.
I’ve built quite a community during lockdown locally, of people I would do exercise with or would help, and those people have become way more valuable to me than many who live distances away.
I hope we have learnt from lockdown and Covid. That we need resilience locally, that where true value is is within our home and community. I get a sense lockdown has been life-changing for many but I wonder if we will return to relentless activity?
I’m reminded that we need to slow down by the below infographic and the immovable fact that since we began measuring, each human being uses on average 2.5% more energy than they did the year before. Technology can’t answer our problems, but behaviour can, and what a great reference point Covid/lockdown has been.
I wonder how this reference point could be used best to affect behavioural change?