Letter 24 - The World Will Look Different

The world will look different...

Letter from the Director

The world is going to look different… and it always has
Whether it was 9/11, the great recession, the great depression, or the world wars… people were in the streets screaming “THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IS OVER”.  The world as we know it will alter, but we are still here.  It’s not possible to stay the same as too much has changed – but change should be expected.  Adaptability and flexibility are required to weather what is ahead, but we can look to the past to know we will get through this.
The world is going to look different… and people are hurting
Whether it is a missed special occasion, being out of work, or the loss of a loved one, people are suffering.  Many of us thrive on security and routine, and when it is ripped away from us - we feel vulnerable and scared.  People will react in different ways when fear creeps in and panic takes over.  We know that it is never a free pass for attacking one another, though we need to realize that right now our words and actions are not coming from our true selves in a time of crisis.  We need to be gentle with each other.
The world is going to look different… and children will be effected
Whether its time lost at school or missed opportunities of a senior year, this will have a profound effect on our youth for many years to come.  During this time we need to tailor how we interact with them, what they hear from us, what we teach them, what they learn from us, and our actions.  They are watching and mimicking.  They need us to support them, listen to them, answer their questions to the best of our ability, and most importantly to remind them that they are loved and cared for.
The world is going to look different… and it needs you
Whether you are on the still on the job or sent home from work, we all play an important part in the universe.  You are useful, you are needed, you mean something, and you have a gift to give.  Figure out what that is and share it.  It could be cleaning up your front porch to beautify the neighborhood or mowing your neighbor’s lawn while you are already doing yours – we can all do something during this time that is bigger than ourselves.
The world is going to look different… and community is imperative
Whether you are a small business owner or a part time worker at a big box store, our community is in distress.  With everything going on, it’s inevitable that we will struggle as a community, but community is what is going to build us back up.  Support for its members and its businesses will be the building blocks of a rock solid return.  None of us can do it alone, that is for certain – but together we are strong.  It will be the “we” mindset that will give us a position of power as we look towards the future.
The world is going to look different… and gratitude and grace go a long way
Whether you are in health care, emergency services, or even stocking shelves at a grocery store – employees are tired, anxious, and working hard so that you can get the services you need.  Right now what everyone deserves a thank you and a smile.  They are away from their families, doing their jobs, and they need to know they are beyond appreciated – tell them that, over and over again.
The world is going to look different… and nature is necessary
Whether its your local city park, state park, or national park… open space is a salve for the soul.  We are inundated with data, images, sounds, opinions, and rhetoric that we can become so overwhelmed.  It becomes difficult to quiet the mind and stay focused.  This is an opportunity to unplug, reconnect with loved ones, and the outdoors.  Take this time to disconnect, take a walk, quiet the chaos, and live in the moment that you have today.  It’s proven to aid anxiety, reduce stress, create peace, and relax you – now more than ever that is essential.  Parks are not “just nice to have”, but required for our physical and emotional health.
The world is going to look different… and we are resilient
The beautiful thing about humans is that we are resilient.  Our capacity to recover from tough times has a proven track record.  Our advances in medicine and technology have and will set us up for continued success.  Our minds our more brilliant than ever, our capabilities are limitless, the word impossible has been thrown out the window, and our ability to work together diligently for the greater good is what will sustain us and move us forward.
It will look different and no one can predict what our new normal will be.  We will face it, embrace it, and figure it out together.
The world is going to look different, it always has…
and it always will.

Jennifer Wills, Director
Parks, Recreation, Urban Forestry, and Golf