As someone who lives at the intersection of three states, it has been interesting to navigate the various rules during the pandemic, with each jurisdiction responding in different ways with their own set of rules.
And it’s not just here; one of my coaching clients was lamenting the challenges she has faced in planning end-of-year recognitions while living at the convergence of multiple counties who also have addressed gatherings with varying degrees of restrictions.
It seems that each pocket of control considers only its limited scope without brokering a coordinated response or considering the impact on citizens who travel routinely between governmental lines. But this should not be a surprise. Our world is structured to where boundaries are more engrained than cooperation.
For example, schools operate with delineations between disciplines and even separate colleges at universities. Athletic departments create fiefdoms that are defined by sport rather than as a whole. Organizations have department silos that function independently from other colleagues. The political landscape is defined by red or blue. The examples could go on and on.
Whether it be through our philosophy, demographics, position, or geography, too often we grow up seeing the world in pockets instead of as a whole. Of course, this would carry over into how municipalities respond to a pandemic; the majority of life experience for those making the call has been to maximize the benefits for those in their sphere without paying much mind to those outside of it.
If you are in a position of influence, whether over a child, a department, an organization or a community – use some of your implicit power to help others see beyond their own circle and to reflect on the impact their actions have on the whole. Our world today – and tomorrow – will be better for it.