Sunday, April 12, 2020

Mayor’s Message for April 2020: Silver Linings

Silver Lining - Fairview

Along with the rest of the world, we are going through a challenging time, but there are always silver linings. In this case we have a chance to develop creative solutions. Jeff Dyer, a Highland resident, co-authored The Innovator’s DNA with Clayton Christensen and Hal Gregersen. In the book they describe different exercises that can be used to develop creative solutions. One such exercise is to define a problem and then put constraints on the solution. According to Marissa Mayer, former Google executive, “creativity, in fact, thrives best when constrained.” Clearly constraints have been put on much of our life, giving us the opportunity to address many of life’s challenges in new ways. New solutions to problems will be found that will benefit all of us going forward.

Various personal attributes are also being tested and measured. A valuable attribute in today’s world is calmness. Here’s what one of my favorite authors had to say about this characteristic:

When man has developed the spirit of Calmness until it becomes so absolutely part of him that his very presence radiates it, he has made great progress in life. Calmness cannot be acquired of itself and by itself; it must come as the culmination of a series of virtues. What the world needs and what individuals need is a higher standard of living, a great realizing sense of the privilege and dignity of life, a higher and nobler conception of individuality.”—William George Jordan, The Majesty of Calmness, 1900.

Today, we have the time to develop and improve existing virtues, which in the end will help us have calmness. I do not know how long the COVID-19 issue will be with us, but I do know that the sun will rise each morning and we will find ways to help each other get through this.

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