Engagement diamond wedding ring group on white background, diamond, golden rings

I very much dislike the phrase “new normal.” News media has pounded us with this phrase more often in a few months than during the eight years of the Great Recession, when the term was coined. No one ever said, “Microwave ovens are the new normal.” Will some parts of our society change because of the virus? Definitely. It’s called “adaptation,” and we are good at finding innovative ways to achieve goals. If you doubt that, think of one example of the new normal from the recession that is still around now. We adapted rather than accept a perceived necessity.

No matter what happens, there are aspects of life that will remain the same. Courtesy being one example. The Golden Rule of treating others the way you would like to be treated is common courtesy. Why not kick it up a notch with the Platinum Rule? Do unto others as they want to be treated. That rule has been the first thing I teach at customer-service classes. It’s politeness and a happy attitude. Everybody’s day becomes much easier, brighter and happier when some of us practice simple courtesy. Especially while driving.

Leadership is another quality that will always be around and be needed. More so when things get unexpectedly crazy. A boss barks orders at people sometimes using intimidation. A leader guides and directs using influence, inspiration and support. A step up would be the servant leader. Servant Leadership is a philosophy where the well-being of others is placed before that of the person in charge. This type of leader creates an atmosphere of trust, encourages open thoughts and ideas from everyone, develops leadership skills in others and has an unselfish mindset. I’ve been told this style of management works at home, too. The entire organization (or family) becomes better.

How about caring and giving? Different from courtesy; it’s an emphatic reaction to a situation. The neighbor with whom I share a landing is a single mom with two kids. We exchange hellos on the very rare days when our schedules coordinate. If she happens to leave a trash bag on the landing, I take it to the dumpster on my way out. Am I a good neighbor? I’d like to think so. I’ve never been a parent, but I assume one less task that she has to do would be helpful. Think about bigger issues: homelessness, domestic violence, hungry families, veterans in need and the list goes on. Supporting our community’s charitable groups is one way to demonstrate our giving and caring nature. The nonprofit organizations will be grateful, too.

Change is part of life. I’ve given three qualities that I feel should always be part of us or our society. I have more suggestions, but choosing core qualities is a personal decision. Standing true to your core beliefs will make adapting easier. Call it your new normal if you want. Begin by asking yourself, “What do I want in my life to be inevitable?”