The Gift of Perspective.
When I was 22, I got caught in a revolution in Venezuela. Caracas became the most violent city in the world with more deaths every day than anywhere else, including war zones. It was a scary place to be.
The local currency became instantly valueless and everything I had was suddenly worthless. My first love had left me. I was at an all time low.
It took me a year to get out and back to the UK. During that time I was robbed at gunpoint twice. The second robbery left me high in the hills that surround Caracas without a cent, without a stitch of clothing except my boxer shorts.
I learned a good deal about life and myself during that year.
I lived a few months in an artists commune in the Venezuelan Andes. I found a job, built a small thriving business and lived quite well. I learned to trust myself. I found a community. I was OK. I even found love.
As I look at a world drunk on anxiety and fear I find myself reflecting back to times in my life where I have weathered some pretty crazy storms. The unexpected delights, the inexplicable luck and surprising adventures they led me to. It feels like a time when that experience, knowing that things turn out fine is a gift elders can offer to the world right now.
We know that the world will “normal” again. We know we will find a place in that normal. The things that we fear will never end, do eventually end. We have seen it happen again and again.
How might your life's perspective on ‘disaster’ help those around you navigate this current storm? How might your deep understanding that this too shall pass change your plans for what comes next?
Jeff Hamaoui is one of the partners in MEA as the Chief Education & Innovation Officer and answered a midlife call to adventure by moving his family down to Baja from the SF Bay Area.