I want to address the sadness and the hope I feel at this moment. On a very human level the past few weeks have been very difficult, and indications are that things will get harder before they get better. This means turning off our beautiful machines, holding off on purchases (including cacao beans) and saddest of all making tough decisions on staffing. We started making chocolate in Bali 10 years ago in a small thatched roof hut and now have a magnificent factory staffed with even more magnificent people. People from surrounding villages who have been trained from scratch to produce some of the best chocolate in the world. People who have become a family.
We don’t know the effects of Covid-19 on Bali or the world. The world is rampant with uncertainty. We didn’t choose Covid-19 but we can choose how we react to it. Governments will react in their way but you and I are not governments – we are one people. As borders close let us open our hearts and turn our fear of corona into the strength of connection. Today we stand together in experience if not in unity. Let tomorrow be the first day we truly awake as a member of the human race and not a citizen of any country.
This pandemic has given me an intense sense of connection. I can feel the people of Italy and I can feel the people of China. I can feel the world and I know you feel it too. With the immediacy of social media we feel it now and we feel it together. If corona is a curse then this is the blessing. And while today we all feel fear together we can turn that fear into empathy and our empathy into action. Because the challenges we face are vast but together we can overcome them.
This will pass but things wont go back to normal. The world has changed forever. And I don’t want things to go back to normal. This is a reset button. It is a time to assess our priorities. I don’t want things to go back to normal. I want a new normal. If normal is a world where air pollution and starvation cause more deaths per year than a small sized country and the world doesn’t jump to action, I don’t want normal. If normal is a world where we destroy our forests and oceans – the very planet that gives us life – while our leaders debate and fail to act as the world burns and the seas rise – I don’t want normal. If normal is a world without real equality, without love and respect for the multitude of life on our planet. Screw normal!
As a species we’re out of balance – we’re out of line. And for the first time in history we have a ‘time out’ to think about what we really want. We’re in isolation. Good. It’s the best practice against the virus and it’s the best way for us to spend some time to think about what we want to choose as the new normal. Because I choose and you choose and together – connected as we are unlike any time in human history – we can choose together. After you read this please spend some time to think about what’s really important to you. Deep down it’s the same thing that’s important to me. It’s what we should be working for. Corona isn’t the end of the world. It’s a warning shot. And our chance to build a better one. Let’s do it together.
(make sure to be following us on Instagram @podchocolate and my personal account @tobygarritt for more updates)