10 Million Steps

Articles on leadership and mental models for understanding the world. All articles are written by Wojciech Gryc.


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2 June 2020

Protests, COVID-19, and our institutions

by Wojciech Gryc

I hope and hope the protests in the US conclude as peacefully as possible; that every person one day is equal in the eyes of the law – and feels equal as well.

Unfortunately, there is no turning back from this.

In the coming weeks, we’ll see a world that has undoubtedly changed. Social contracts have been broken; elected officials have shown an absolutely incredible lack of leadership; and we’ll have long-term repercussions that are economic, political, and social.

Many major events have winding roots that reach back into our histories. Things change so slowly that we fail to notice them; then they change so quickly that we feel powerless to stop them.

Those roots reach deep… They reach past a 25% unemployment rate and social isolation caused by a pandemic; they reach past short-sighted government officials and poorly trained bureaucrats; they reach to tax havens; they reach to a lack of job prospects; they reach to fear and pain that turns to guilt, anger, and violence; they reach through history to generations that have suffered via slavery and colonialism.

As a society, we are impatient – if only we could find a solution and implement it tomorrow.

The roots of these problems will take years and decades to untangle. There is also no such thing as a perfect solution; we’ll never have complete closure, and ensuring, protecting, and maintaining our freedoms and justice system is a never-ending marathon.

My intent isn’t to propose any solutions here; I don’t believe there are any obvious ones. My intent is to encourage all of us to get involved in government, policy development, and elections. The institutions that run our countries are ultimately accountable to us – we can change them by speaking out, speaking to, and speaking with these institutions.

I hope we all critically and proactively involve ourselves in the institutions that are failing us; they will continue to fail us if we don’t involve ourselves in them.