6 Current Trends I Hope Extend Beyond the Pandemic

There are many things about this time I hope don’t last, but also some key actions that can add good to the world for decades to come.

  1. A renewed respect for nature: While we’re stuck at home, indoors, it becomes evident how much nature affects our physical and mental wellbeing. Nature heals. Sunshine energizes. We’re thankful for backyard moments and neighborhood walks, and missing our parks, trails, and beaches. We’ve also seen a massive reduction in pollution begin to clear skies and oceans. Nature needed a break from human intervention and activity. I hope, moving forward, we continue to care for our planet by being mindful of all of our activities and their impact, and appreciative of the beauty that surrounds us. I hope we can continue to reduce our carbon footprint through strategic telecommuting and preservation behaviors.
  2. A deeper understanding of the family unit: We work so freaking hard. We brag about how busy we are, push ourselves past our limits, set increasingly ambitious goals before celebrating reaching the current goal, access work emails on personal devices and add our cell numbers to our signature lines so that we’re always connected to the office. Work-life balance seems like a fantasy. For the first time in my 11-year career, I feel like employers are seeing the impact of these expectations on families. They are actually seeing our families, in the background of calls and virtual meetings, and understanding that working parents have two full-time jobs. I think we ourselves are also learning more about our families. We are incredibly grateful for the gift of family time. As we miss holidays, birthdays, weddings, and major family events, we feel the deep hole created by lack of family gatherings. If we live close to our families, we no longer take for granted how precious that closeness is. If we live far from our parents and grandparents, the distance feels a thousand times further. I hope that employers take note of how workplace culture places pressure on family life, and I hope that all individuals remember to place value on family even in a nomadic and career-driven world.
  3. Stripped-down and work-in-progress performances from artists everywhere: Visual artists, songwriters, and musicians have given us the gift of a window into their creative processes, all to inspire us. As they provide new creative work that helps foster a sense that we’re all in this together, they’ve stripped away some of the mysticism around creativity. They’ve also shown us more of their authentic selves. We are seeing our idols in their homes, without makeup or wardrobe or fancy lighting and choreography —without editing— and they feel more relatable than ever. I hope artists continue to share authentic, raw performances to encourage us to be ourselves and to develop our creative potential. It’s okay to share work that’s not perfectly refined and marketed. We’ll only love you all the more.
  4. Behind-the-scenes access to museums and cultural institutions: Museums, zoos, heritage sites, and performance venues around the world have taken to digital media in a way they’ve never quite embraced before. They’ve released digital collections, created immersive digital exhibitions, curator-led tours, shared audio guide content, initiated community online film screenings, provided inside looks at work that goes on behind the scenes to bring light to a set of professions often reserved for the wealthy and highly educated, and more. They’ve dug into their storied histories to communicate context and advance public understanding of their value to society. They are showcasing their creativity and their ability to adapt and maintain relevance. They are providing free eye-opening educational content that we’d typically have to travel for and pay for. They are now accessible to anyone, from anywhere. I hope museums and cultural institutions continue to develop engaging and interactive digital content for a global audience, including many who do not have the means to visit in person. I hope cultural sector leaders take to heart that they are providing an unprecedented public service, and that embracing digital alongside physical visits only emphasizes their social value further.
  5. Active practice of Gratitude: I don’t think I’m the only one who’s become more focused on gratitude lately. At a time when we are faced with a dangerous — even deadly — threat to our lives, livelihoods, governments, and social constructions, we realize where our real priorities are and what’s really important in life. We count our blessings. We are grateful for things too often take for granted — the most foundational and significant things in life — the love of our families, our health, the roof over our heads, the food that nourishes us, the warmth of sunshine on our faces, the kindness of neighbors, and so much more. I hope we commit to heart that love is all we need.

Expert in museum studies and nonprofit communications. Millennial mom passionate about fostering a culture of kindness. Lover of live music and Texas wine.

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