Posts Tagged ‘just-in-time’

The Corona Effect – What will life look like?

April 18, 2020

We all want to know what will get back to normal and what has changed. Of course, only a fool can predict with certainty, and many fools are speculating – talking as though they actually know!

Sunset of an Era

Some points are currently observable, and may have some predictable consequences:

Our households have been reminded with a jolt that keeping some stocks of basic food items is a good thing to do. We’ve been too long deceived by the convenience of supermarkets and corner shops that are open 24 hours a day. Our grandparents were wise in keeping dry goods, salt, pickles and potatoes in hand.

We have suddenly realised that Just-In-Time manufacturing and super lean supply chains are dangerous, as is the ultimate cost reduction of transferring consumable manufacturing to Asia. We are likely to see renewed interest in local manufacturing. 

The economic shock is making us instantly more open to prudence and thrift. We are now looking again at what we buy and ‘need’ with fresh eyes. 

The value of family and companionship is has been highlighted. The fragility of this life is suddenly in the limelight. This is making us aware of the need for healthy, forgiving and tolerant relationships. I have this week heard of a family that has been in bitter battles and clashes throughout three generations and multiple cousins. The crisis led one man in the centre of it all to create a massive WhatsApp group with everyone in the extended family and make them all face up to the reality that we might not have each other for long – so let’s put the past behind us and start being a family!

The social distancing has made us all suddenly appreciate liberty, to start thinking about freedoms and how much we appreciate being able to travel and gather. Suddenly the meaning of totalitarian and repression has some measurement scale, and we see the value of open spaces in our community and the need to associate freely. Human nature makes us prone to wanting what we are told that we cannot have!

We have become super sceptical about politicians and within a month some of the distinctions between conservative economics and socialism have been blurred beyond recognition. Party voting may never be the same again. Added to all this political re-calibration, we have had our eyes opened to the manipulation and self-seeking nature of the mass media. The mainstream, traditional media are suddenly exposed as negative, unhelpful and biased in a way that the ordinary people do not appreciate!

Interest in spiritual insights and what the Bible has to say about the world has been amplified dramatically over a few short weeks. We are told that Bibles are in high demand. Politicians are talking about prayers on a daily basis in governmental briefings. The biggest shift that is happening in front of our eyes is that secularism is evaporating in the heat of the trauma. 

All these aspects combine to create the ingredients for a new breath of fresh air in our communities and society. We can optimistically expect an increase in collaborative, community minded business. We are likely to see a breakdown in the old assumed boundary between charities and businesses. We may well see a whole new approach to what church and congregation mean, as online, global and personal communication mature from the current fumbling attempts to recreate the old wineskins of congregational gathering.

The new wineskins are being prepared. They will be filled with new wine. The name of the wine is shalom!

[Shalom is a Hebrew word meaning profound wholeness; everything in its place and unbroken; right with God and creation]