By Casey Jones, CAPP
I’m currently reading Erik Larson’s “The Splendid and the Vile,” an account of the year that followed Winston Churchill’s appointment as British Prime Minister and the devastation brought by Hitler and Germany’s Luftwaffe against the island nation of Great Britain.
The book details many harrowing experiences but an especially poignant account involves the industrial city of Coventry that in one raid, was subjected to intense and unrelenting aerial bombardment. According to Larsen’s account, during the course of 11 hours, 509 bombers dropped 500 tons of high explosive and 29,000 incendiaries, which destroyed 2,294 buildings and cost the lives of 568 civilians. Coventry was not alone as a target of the Germans and the level of destruction, despair and death sustained by Britain and its people is hard to fathom or fully appreciate. Through it all, the country, its leaders, and its citizens adopted immense resiliency and fortitude, which ensured they would not give in to the Germans even in the face of such calamity.
Our current situation is different in many ways but one thing is certain: The need to be resilient most especially in the face of uncertainty is a must. We may live in an era where resiliency doesn’t come as naturally as it may have for previous generations. We also have new tools and ways of thinking at our disposal that didn’t existing in the 1930s and ‘40s. Without resilience, it is not possible to cope effectively with the pandemic and its aftermath and avoid irreparable harm to our physical health, our relationships, and our positive outlook on life. Like the Brits in WWII, we need to learn how to keep calm and carry on
Casey Jones, CAPP, is senior parking and mobility planner with DESMAN. He will present on this topic during IPMI’s 2020 Leadership Summit, online, Oct. 6-8. For details and to register, click here.