The novel coronavirus has impacted the global world community in unprecedented ways. The hospitality and travel industry have perhaps been the most hard-hit than others. Hourly workers are the heartbeat of hospitality and potentially facing devastating hardships. Decisions on whether to stay home with their kids who are out of school or go to work, health concerns, drop in pay because of cutting back of hours and in general not having a security net. In this time of crisis, it is important for us to come together to not only consider the safety of our guests but also the wellbeing of our hospitality community.
Anxiety is rampant with a run on necessities such as toilet paper, water, and food. Crises such as these are not new in human existence and it is not difficult to predict that we will likely face something like this again in our lifetimes. So, what makes us get through this? And the answer is quite simple – Resilience. The Oxford dictionary defines resilience as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. The human species has evolved and is the dominant one on this planet simply because they are resilient and have the staying power to weather storms.
In May 2011, Japan was struck by a horrific earthquake, tsunami and a nuclear disaster. Yet the people of Japan bounced back in a seamless manner. It is hard to understand how they managed this in a calm and orderly manner without any looting or violence. Simply put, the idea of resilience is so deeply ingrained in this culture that they can withstand constant natural disasters. The Japanese call it “Gaman”, a Zen Buddhist term which means enduring the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity.
Researchers claim that there is a tipping point of three positive emotions to one negative one. Those above the tipping point are resilient and tend to bounce back while others get into a downward spiral of despair. One of the most common traits of a resilient person is the ability to look for the silver lining in a crisis and move forward with a sense of hope for a better future.
For all of us as hospitality professionals, a sense of service and hope is part of our DNA. So, let us band together to have gratitude for our health, love, and compassion for those who are in need and a renewed sense of mission to be the very best service provides for both our internal and external customer communities. The industry will bounce back and we should be ready with hope for a better future.
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