Dear Members and friends

I hope you’ve had a great week, or at least found some bright spots to focus on.

Mine has been pretty good, all things considered. A mixture of good, great and difficult.

I’m very grateful that we have managed to keep Covid at bay here in SA so far and realise that it’s only a matter of time before we get an outbreak and a lockdown of some sort. A combination of good luck and good management has allowed us to escape several close calls.

It’s difficult to fully grasp what many members have been through in NSW, Vic and ACT. Sadly, it’s not over yet. Even after all restrictions are lifted, the effects will be ongoing. I realise that when faced with a crisis or threat, our instincts kick in and overrule our otherwise considered analytical and rational thoughts. It’s easy to get sucked into the vortex of dramatic news reports, warnings and fear mongering. It’s in our nature to react to danger with alarm, although that doesn’t always serve us well. We may find more security in being informed and aware that considered response tends to be better than impulsive reaction.

As human beings we need trust. Without that, we would need to evaluate every situation in detail, before making a decision, which is not functionally viable. It’s healthy to question, review and verify where we have the means to do so, while accepting that mostly are going with best guess, rather than absolute truth.

Having the benefit of not being faced with the same situation as many of you, I may be able to offer a different perspective and support.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, fearful or stressed, I suggest trying some of these strategies:

  • Decouple from the news cycle. You don’t need to follow news conferences, announcements or constant updates. One news bulletin per day is enough. Choose where you get your news from carefully (I choose ABC) and try to avoid the drama mill. You don’t need endless commentary. Don’t rely on social media as your source of news.
  • Remember that ‘this too shall pass’. Yes, it is hard now, but we have survived worse and we will survive this.
    “Nothing is as good as it seems, and nothing is as bad as it seems. Somewhere in between lies realty.” Lou Holtz
  • ‘Disaster is inevitable. Misery is optional’ is a perspective I have found helpful.
  • “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Viktor E. Frankl (from Man’s Search for Meaning, which I highly recommend.) 
  • Exercise your power to not only interpret the past in a productive way, but to shape the future. You have that power.
  • Motivation is difficult when you’re in a ‘funk’. Identify simple routine tasks and stick to them. Making the bed is one of them
  • Take time out in nature. If you’re in lockdown, the local park or reserve might be an option. Feel the grass, smell the roses and listen to the birds.
  • Hans Rosling in his book Factfulness (with Ole Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund) reminds us that although ‘the state of the world’ is bad, it’s not as bad as we think and it’s getting better.
  • Phone a friend – and choose your friends wisely. The friend who is on your wavelength when ranting and raving may have best intentions and a lot in common with you, but is not who you need to seek out to recalibrate and seek solace and peace with.
  • Remember that every challenge is an opportunity. There is always an opportunity and an upside. Find them and say them our loud.
  • Give yourself and others some slack. Plenty of slack.

Within the KBDi Board and management team we’ve been actively supporting our members and each other. We’ve also been considering what else we can do to represent our members’ interests and perspectives.

It simply isn’t our role to get involved in the broader politics.

The entire KBDi team remains committed to supporting our members as much as what we can. We are a community of our own and need to stick together and look out for each other.

I believe we will emerge from this better for the experience and learning. I plan to be here to celebrate it and hope you will too.

May the Force be with you.

Kind regards

Peter Sveinsson

KBDi President