When the system ‘fails’ us
7 MINUTE READ
Picture this. The year is 2020. A year filled with promise, hope and opportunities. Just like every year before it I guess. Fast forward three months. March 2020. Or thereabouts.
Movie scene: People happily minding their own business going along with their daily routines. The comings and goings of busy suburban life. School lunches. Mom’s taxi. School homework. Office deadlines.
Enter stage right (from China to be exact). A huge, horrifying, red monster with big feet and spikey things all over it, stomping through the streets sending everyone scurrying into hiding until the carnage has passed. As people hide the monster seems to grow and grow and grow. Soon it feels as though it’s bigger than the whole world. With no end in sight, people become reclusive and give up on their daily lives, protecting themselves and their loved ones from sure destruction.
These people begin to look to their leaders. Their magical, mystical leaders. The all-knowing ones. Are their leaders able to save the day? Will they have all the answers?
Who would have thought that this movie scene, this cliff-hanger would actually become our reality? Our reality from March 2020. And the huge, horrifying red monster with the big feet and the spikey things is really stomping through our streets. Ending our daily routines. Obliterating what we know to be the norm.
And our leaders? Where are they?
I’ll tell you where they are. They are trying to make sense of this monster and how to contain it. They’re trying to choose the best path to keep the citizens of this land safe. But in reality, they may not get it right. They’re not all-knowing. They’re not magical nor are they mystical. They’re trying to figure a way to get us back to our old normal. But we may just have to settle for a ‘new’ normal. A new ‘system’.
Speaking of systems, if you look at synonyms of the word ‘system’ you’ll find words like ‘structure’, ‘rule’, ‘coordination’, ‘order’ and ‘regularity’. With life being different, we need to think differently, do things differently and create our own new normal. We cannot rely on the way things were done before.
But has the ‘system’ failed us? It would seem so. But the ‘system’ was never built to handle an upheaval like this. And has our rigidity for holding onto the way things have always been failed us? I would also say so. I know that change is hard and uncomfortable. And I know that we’re creatures of comfort. But unfortunately we’re no longer in a comfortable situation.
It’s time for us to realise that everything is new – even the way we breathe is new (through masks for those of you who may have thought that I’ve lost my mind). And lots of things remain uncertain. What we need to accept though, is that each person, be it adult or child, needs to be flexible to adapt to this new. And we need to help each other through this time.
Take our education system for example. Until sometime in the distant future, online learning is going to be the norm. Is it easy? Not initially. Will our children get used to it? I’m certain they will.*
But to embrace the changes, we need to teach our children to flex some old (and hopefully already learnt) skills as they redefine their way of learning. Flexibility. Discipline. Tenacity. Responsibility. Respect. Kindness.
We need to teach them that:
- You have to be flexible to adapt. Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.
- You need discipline to get out of bed and be present, especially when there may be no one at home to ‘parent’ you.
- Being tenacious will get you through because you won’t allow yourself to give up.
- Responsibility is a vital skill that we all need to practice, not only our children. For our older children particularly, they are ultimately responsible for their learning.
- Having respect for others is the right thing to do. We are all in this together, figuring things out as we go along. Respect for teachers, parents and each other is imperative.
- Showing kindness to themselves and each other will get us all through the tough moments.
Learning and practicing these skills will stand them in good stead as we wade our way through this Covid experience, and it will be with them well into the future.
This challenging time will not last forever, but this is also not the last time a system is going to ‘fail’ us. Let us learn from our experiences.
I acknowledge that this journey is not easy. But it is not impossible. We may need to tap out every so often, and that’s ok, as long as we tap back in too!
And after we get through this, which we will, we’ll be stronger, and wiser, and more flexible.
With much love from all of us at
My Amazing Study Notes
* Changing to the MASN system is very similar to this. It’s not the normal way of studying and we understand that some of our students will find it a little tricky at first, but with tenacity, discipline and taking responsibility for their studies, it becomes a way of learning. And it begins to flow. And it becomes the new norm with so many amazing benefits and incredible results.