Shaping A New Norm

History has more than one legend about the invention of the croissant. Some say that the croissant was invented to celebrate the defeat of the Umayyad forces at the Battle of Tours by Franks (a group of Germanic people) in the year 732. Others say that it was created to celebrate the defeat of the Ottomans in the siege of Vienna. The shape coming from the crescent moon that represents Islam. Either way, the most popular breakfast pastry was birthed in the cold blood of warfare.

What has history taught us? The former civilizations that left traces of excellence and superior engineering have crumbled. Many empires have spread across the world like a virus, taking ownership, instilling new ways of life, and forming new cultures along the way, until new empires came along and changed the norm by using the rinse and repeat method.

Renaissances and revolutions changed the course of human life time and time again. Art culture is both blueprint and historical evidence that what we are going through today is the beginning stages of a new norm. This planet is not new to a pandemic experience. Our generation, however, is.

We are not going back to normal. At first it may seem like we are, but it’s a mirage. Instead of wasting breaths on arguments and attempting to corner those whom we think are responsible for our misfortune, it is better to start planning for a new way of life.

But, how do you live surrounded by obstacles so hard to maneuver that finding a positive course of action seems impossible?

The planet Earth does not have a utopia hidden within it. There are always going to be people who do good and people who take advantage of others. Corruption and neglect are not things any of us should be strangers to. And as you may want to reach out to your governors and politicians to ask for the bail out, you shouldn’t put all your eggs in the same basket.

New challenges provide new opportunities. You can bail yourself out by changing the course of action in your life. If restaurants get bailed out, it will most likely be the ones that have serious connections and very high revenue margins. As far as mom and pop cafes and small eateries, I will be keeping my fingers crossed. Many people do not have steady incomes, so making it feasible for everyone to support local eateries is a challenge that is forcing restaurant owners and cooks to think way outside of the box.

Cooks who have lost their jobs have started selling from home. Many restaurants and cooks are doing meal-prep. They post up around hospitals, hand out menus at police and fire stations, and leave menus around the neighborhood. They start new social media accounts specifically targeting essential workers who need meals on the go, and out menus with some samples. Family members become delivery drivers.

My personal take on this is that the best way to be supportive is to support local businesses as they struggle to survive. You should still reach out to your state and federal representatives. But, if you’re one of those whose industry is facing an uncertain future, you should never give up on yourself. Times are tough without a doubt. But you should not wait for someone to come to your rescue if you are still capable of steering the sails of your own vessel through these troubled waters.

Whatever shape the future of this industry, and of societies, are going to take, I myself think maybe the new shape, the new things we humans will create out of this chaos, could actually be as inventive and as loved as the croissant.

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