Like many of you, I’ve been out and about more regularly. The Chamber office is officially “open,” as are most of yours. And I’ve been talking with you. I’m hearing from a lot of people that you’re really feeling overwhelmed. A few of you are out on R&R these last couple of weeks, because you really needed the break. I’m saying this out loud in case others are feeling this as well, without the reassuring knowledge that yours is a common experience right now.
This past week one of our members shared the perfect phrase to describe what we’re experiencing: “it’s been a series of ‘black swan events,’ and we’re all tired.” That phrase was new to me. So I had to look it up: Investopedia tells me that “A black swan is an unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected of a situation and that has potentially severe consequences. Such events are characterized by their extreme rarity, severe impact, and the widespread insistence – in hindsight - that they were obvious.”
Think about it…. The pandemic, George Floyd murdered, civil unrest, attack on our nation’s capital, oh-yes-the-pandemic-round-2, crime, rent control, inflation, and now war in Ukraine. We keep going to survival mode. If you remember, last year I talked about the “surge capacity, and why we feel awful.” It bears repeating. At some point we run out of that surge capacity, and I’m sensing that here. Among all of us, myself included. When we reach the limits of our surge capacity, when it’s depleted, it has to be renewed. Especially hard because the significant string of black swan events, one after the other, has changed our “emergency” phase to “chronic.”
And that’s when I heard encouragement from this member, because he reminded me about the value of chambers: we bring people together for nurturing togetherness. We actually do “create connections that count.” These moments together can help us renew, recharge, refresh. So if you, too, have run out of gas, so to speak, come see us. Come see one another. We’ve missed you, and need you too.
See you in the trenches.
Read more updates in our weekly Chamber Advocacy Update.