Meena Natarajan and Dipankar Mukhergee, who lead Pangea World Theater, embraced the moment and consciously took a pause. Even though they had to shorten the run of their show, rethink their spring Gala, and figure out how to program in this time of physical distancing, they reassured their team of 12 people that they will continue to get paid through the end of the fiscal year and that they should take the next few weeks to pause, breathe, and take time for themselves.
It takes great courage to sit quietly in a storm and listen. It is difficult when there is no clear line-of-sight. We face a new level of ambiguity, we don’t know what the new normal is or if we even should trust our own instincts on what to do next. Like the rest of us, Meena and Dipankar do not have a crystal ball, yet they made a conscious choice for their organization — one that is uniquely aligned to the organization’s value system.
Certainty comes from marrying our values and beliefs to the very moment we live in. It’s about taking a stand for what is important in our work, to embrace our mission and the impact we seek to create. To pivot when and where we need to, and redouble our efforts. Now is the becoming. By actively living our values we ultimately shape who we are and this helps us move beyond the crisis and build a way forward.
I admire Meena and Dipankar because, without saying it, we all know how difficult it is to do this. For me personally, it is a struggle. Every morning I am putting myself back together and re-centering on my values. Like you, I have no idea where we are all heading, but I do know I have work to attend to and that is where I need to be.