Rising Tides

Last night at 12:01am, Las Vegas casinos were able to reopen, and many of them did, with ready and willing tourists showing up before that time.

The casinos have to make many modifications like spacing out slot machine patrons, limiting the number of players at table games, and keeping some aspects of their operations closed, but people can gamble once again.

Like many people here, I have mixed feelings about this. While it may help the local economy (which heavily relies on tourism), it will surely spread the virus too.

People seem to be proving repeatedly that even with precautions in place, many will ignore safety measures. Vegas casinos and the Vegas Strip are often packed with people on Friday and Saturday nights, even in the non-gambling areas. Parts of the city, such as the Bellagio fountains, are designed to attract crowds. Many aspects of tourism run contrary to social distancing, so even with extension modifications to policies and procedures, I think the changes being made aren’t as significant as the forces working against safety.

I have similar mixed feelings about the protests too. I see images and videos of people packed in tightly, often not wearing masks. And masks only provide limited protection anyway. While these protests are understandable from the human side, they’re all pro-virus demonstrations too.

We’re now at 6.6 million global infections (based on limited testing). Global deaths are at 388K. The USA is at 1.9 million cases and 109K deaths. Many people are expecting a fresh surge because of reopening. That may lead to more shutdowns too.

When I first wrote some cautions about India and the virus, they were #31 in the world in terms of coronavirus deaths. Now they’re #12, and they’ll soon overtake Canada for the #11 spot. My predictions about India were wrong in timing, but I don’t think they were wrong in substance.

Many people are getting antsy about the social distancing measures and just want them to be over. That’s understandable. This is a huge disruption.

Some people are prioritizing differently at this time. Some may acknowledge the virus risks and still decide that protesting is the right choice at this historic time. That’s understandable too.

And some are going over the top with rioting and looting. Not far from where I live, three Vegas locals were arrested on conspiracy and terrorism charges. They were caught bringing gasoline and Molotov cocktails to one of the protests in Vegas.

And if you’ve been active on social media, you’ve probably noticed some changes in how people are responding and reacting to current events.

It’s easy to be reactive during this time because there’s so much to react to. But in these emotional times, I encourage you to pause when lots of energy is swirling around you and decide where you want to direct your energy. If you want to get swept up in one or more surges, that’s your call. But don’t feel that you have to catch waves that don’t feel aligned to you right now.

Sometimes you’ll feel a rising tide surging in a direction you want to go. Other times you may acknowledge a rising tide and feel that it’s not the right one for you at this time. Still other times you may notice a rising tide that feels so misaligned that you may want to redirect it to some extent.

This year I’ve felt very drawn to delve deeper into rationality, self-discipline, and balance. The rising tide of the coronavirus situation caught my attention early on. It invited me to consider and share what would be a rational approach to the situation. I chose to engage with that deliberately because it felt aligned to do so.

With other rising tides, however, I prefer to observe from the sidelines. The rising tide of people rushing back to a pre-virus lifestyle doesn’t feel aligned, so I’ll sit this one out for a while.

Sometimes there’s a rising tide that puzzles me a bit. With some waves I ponder if I want to participate to some extent or sit them out. The rising tide of racial justice is an example. On the surface it seems to align well with my values, but the current framing feels misaligned, partly because I see human justice issues and the treatment of animals to be inseparable. Caring is caring. The heart doesn’t just open selectively to address one issue while closing itself to another. If humans were kinder towards animals, racial harmony would vastly improve. I don’t see how we can bury our hearts in one area while trying to elevate another area. With this rising tide, I see intense emotionality but not enough rationality to see inroads for having much impact. So I don’t see the current rising tide as a real opportunity to make a difference right now. That may change as I continue to look at it.

I like to invest where I feel I can make a difference. I felt I could do that by helping people get quickly aligned with the reality of the coronavirus situation as it began to escalate. With other rising tides, if I see an invitation to be part of the outrage but not part of the solution, I prevent not to over-invest.

Life will present many opportunities to catch rising tides of change. Be selective about which ones you catch because you won’t be able to catch them all. Look for alignment. Look for impact opportunities. Look for heart-awakening invitations.

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Read Rising Tides by Steve Pavlina

Steve Pavlina

Steve Pavlina is an American self-help author, motivational speaker and entrepreneur. He is the author of the web site stevepavlina.com and the book Personal Development for Smart People.

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