The Chinese word for crisis, 危机, is composed of two characters signifying "danger" and "opportunity." The challenge facing us all is the search for the opportunity, the silver lining, and to open ourselves up to the potential for something better to happen.
On a macro basis, the outcome of the US Presidential election, the possibility of a Brexit deal and the likelihood of a vaccine can give us all hope the 2021 can be better than 2020.
For nearly all of us, 2020 will be a year to forget. Indeed, for some in our firm and many organisations, real tragedy has struck at home or very close to it.
As one of my duties as a Deputy Lieutenant I laid a wreath at a war memorial in Derbyshire last Sunday. It was a particularly poignant ceremony. Normally they would have anything up to 1500 people in attendance but, because of the lockdown, there were only around 100 there (masked, distanced and sanitised). The poignancy came for me from thinking about people who had laid down their lives for the promise of a better future for their countrymen.
Hopefully this is the closest we will ever get to feeling as if we have been in a war. If this is bad we can only imagine what that must be like.
This week I gave a lecture to around 150 students (remotely, on Teams). As a group, they are anxious. They are wondering where their young lives are taking them and what the world they will emerge into will hold for them. Many teachers and lecturers too, for whom the job is a vocation, are sharing their pain.
For me, this has created a sense of responsibility. For my own sake and for the sake of those around me and those who to a greater or lesser extent depend on me, I must keep seeking the silver linings and, more than that, must keep grasping opportunities when I find them. It's a responsibility I am happy to share!
I hope everyone is keeping well and making every attempt to smile.