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Reflections through a rear-view mirror

Ahmad Itani PR ethics month quote card

Of the changes that altered or evolved the workplace during 2020, none are as prevalent as the derailment of humanity that prioritised progress in a scramble for relevance when businesses were shuttering at record levels. As we encroach upon 2022, and for all the foresight and wisdom we celebrate ourselves with, true insight, as it always has and will be, lies in the pages of the human journey across the ages.

Aristotle argued that our collective purpose is to live a good and fulfilled life through the practice of habituation. If we establish our values from this concept, we will find ourselves on the path towards reclaiming some of the humanity that the workplace lost over the past two years. Yes, technology has taken even more precedence, but it was driven, fulfilled humans who sparked the first flame, envisioned the first computer, and dreamt of breaking through the atmosphere.

Much has been written and discoursed around the need to unsee the challenges that the human race was recently forced to endure. Perhaps knowledge of the existence of such trials and, in some cases, our experience of them is what is helping us recover what we had lost. The digital age — archaic as this term is becoming given how it permeates our everyday lives, thereby becoming a part of who we are and not just an evolutionary rung — made it difficult for us to regard matters from a macro level and makes us subscribe to the fallacy that everything we are enduring today belongs to a distinct chapter in our history.

In 2016, post-truth was Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year, defining it as when ‘objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.’ This is all the more relevant given the state of the world today, whereby anyone with reach is capable of positing a story on par with empirical data that had undergone peer review.

Following the five years since, Forbes’ 2021 word of the year is poetic and captures the essence of our imprint on our lives and those of others by culminating almost everything we are into a singular word that has defined us through our instinct to survive and persevere through the ages and the events of recent years: resilience.

Tasking as some of our experiences have been, we will prevail and rise to empower and teach those succeeding us, not just in the name of posterity but in a cyclical process that will have our descendants inspiring from us as we do from those who preceded us. Such is the nature of our humanity that we will never lose and that will continue its reflection over the years and eras still to come.