The Great Pause is over. South Africa is again open for business (cautiously).
For the extroverts among us, this is bliss. For months they had to replace going outside with going inside. For the introverts it is time to leave the sanctuary of self.
Most of us are looking forward to winning again. We are tired of losing lives, livelihoods and even lifestyles. Tired of loss. But much has also been gained. For the extrovert, the appreciation of solitude; for the introvert, the appreciation of others.
As we hit ‘play’ again, it is easy to just ‘erase’ the past few months as loss; as lost.
In a world that only celebrates winning, sometimes at all cost, there is very little space to lose without stigma. And yet the opposite of winning is not losing; it is failing to see the bigger picture. Our collective Covid-19 experience is a bigger picture moment.
I am reminded of the Lanterne Rouge, a title given to the last placed rider in the Tour de France. Essentially the ultimate ‘loser’. The term comes from the red lantern hung outside the last carriage of a train to signify the end of the train. A book was written about the Lanterne Rouge. The author suggested, after interviewing riders who won this title, that the Lanterne Rouge was better off than the race winner. He got to see more of the race than any other and had richer stories to tell. For the Lanterne Rouge, it was not about WHEN he finished the race. For him it was about HOW and WHY he finished and what he experienced along the way – comfortable in the knowledge that his ‘win’ can only be personal.
Much like life!