It’s been 50+ days without ‘live’ sports coverage on TV. During that time, networks have been showing old games from past tournaments like the NBA playoffs, NCAA Big Dance or Masters golf classics. So, what happens when there’s a drop-off in sports coverage? Well, fans make do as The Last Dance becomes the #1 documentary on television.
The series reminds us of how ‘Be Like Mike’ was a catchy slogan back in the day when Michael Jordan dominated pro basketball. Unfortunately, the catchy slogans these days point to an infectious virus that has shutdown everyday life as we know it. With elected officials thinking about reopening for business, there is a delicate balance between public health and economic health that must be managed. They need to consider risks associated with losing lives and losing livelihoods.
Just think about some of the pain folks have already been through. In NY we lost essential workers on the frontlines, in some cases because they did not have protective gear. In Louisiana we lost a few members of a social club who were part of the last Mardi Gras parades. Authorities in Prince George’s county Maryland, one of the wealthiest black populations in the U.S., are dealing with a big outbreak of the virus. The push to reopen things cannot just be with slogans about ‘liberating’ communities. In the same way that a winning sports play is carefully thought-out on the sidelines and coach’s box, the next steps gotta be carefully thought-out when it comes to life and death.
It seems Governors are doing the heavy lifting. From New York to California, New Jersey to Maryland and points south, they have released 12-point plans, 4-phased rollouts and 6-step strategies for returning things to normal. They have announced distinguished leaders who will work as a reopening taskforce in each state and across regional lines. As to whether normal is what we knew of before, no one’s sure. Maybe we won’t know until sports events are back to their regular programming schedule.
What’s it gonna take to fully embrace these restart efforts? In addition, how are we gonna forge a hometown rebound that empowers families, communities and citizens near & far? Well it might mean looking back to early human history. Plus, there’s something we learn from companies that were started or thrived during economic depression, recession and deflation. This is a look-back to move forward that’s not simply stuck-in nostalgia. It’s why our See America In Color social impact campaign set out to reboot civics education, refresh civic engagement, reset cultural messaging and revive social spirit. It’s why we’re currently developing a prototype for ‘Friday Night Flights’ to take civic engagement and career dreams to new heights.
The ‘community dance’ at the club, sports arena or block party might be on hold a while longer. For now, we get to do a little ‘tootsie slide and chill.’ But back in the days of plagues, floods and pestilence there was a period of 7-year abundance followed by a 7-year famine. How they recovered then gives us hope as our nation goes from a period of abundance with 10+ years of job growth and stock market climbs, to who knows how long a period of job loss and hard times we have yet to see. A ‘hometown rebound’ plan whether from government officials or at the family, community and citizen levels should be based on how we:
- Organize our strengths
A recent event streamed ‘live’ on ESPN showed ‘Game of Thrones’ star and weight-lifter setting a new world record for 1,104 pounds deadlift. That was an individual effort but organizing our strengths is also like a group effort of citizens lifting a SUV to save someone from a burning vehicle. As health officials solemnly report the death-toll, multiple Governors are working as a coalition to organize the strengths of their states. It’s what companies will have to do to make it through the downtime in order to bounce-back over time.
2. Mobilize our resources
News reports say farmers are dumping millions of gallons of milk, hundreds of thousands of eggs and putting-down farm animals because the food-processing chain has been disrupted by the shutdown. You would think that with Food Banks having a big increase in demand, that we’d be able to get them the resources that’s being thrown away. How we mobilize our resources will make a difference in turning what we have into what others don’t have and therefore being more than enough to fill the need.
3. Maximize our skills
In life we show up with divinely endowed gifts/skills as well as those we develop through education and training. Some skills are there to fulfill us financially, emotionally, intellectually, physically. Other skills are there to fulfill a larger calling, purpose and lifelong passions. In other words, we maximize our skills by how with grow in mind, body and spirit in a holistic way as individuals and in a civic way as families/communities working towards ‘unity of purpose.’
4. Realize our value
The value we bring to the table, block or marketplace is our collective efforts from work, play and mutual support towards having our best life experiences. Sometimes that means how we monetize our professional game. But it might also mean how we humanize things in the comings and goings of life. Our value can be seen in how we empower lives and livelihoods for lifestyle moments and legacy actions.
So, in the coming weeks and months elected officials will be laser-focused on having the right timelines for reopening Main Street. School officials will be studying changes that have to be made for reopening schools. Company executives will be reviewing plans for employees returning to the workplace bit by bit. How we handle the climb out of this, even after each tear some may wipe away, depends on a ‘hometown rebound’ plan that also empowers families, communities and citizens everywhere.
You can join the conversation and support our efforts to “See America In Color: With 2020 Vision” at the Facebook ‘Hometown Chat’ Page here www.facebook.com/seeamericaincolor.
Tracks: Miley Cyrus – The Climb – https://youtu.be/NG2zyeVRcbs
Mary J. Blige ft Jay Sean – Each Tear – https://youtu.be/Xvash3C5G9c