How do you feel when you hear or see the word NO?

One thing that has been evident since COVID-19 is the language we have chosen to use. Posts everywhere express commanding language. Yes, new processes and procedures have been put into place for our safety. Why however is it necessary to insist on militant-like actions in order to get our attention? What happened to, “you get more bees with honey than vinegar?” I guess the whole idea is that we’re not welcomed. Our new mantra is; “STAY HOME.”

Of course, we’re feeling the stress of social distancing and self-isolation. Benefit of the doubt however, we’re not morons (most of us). We actually do respond best when spoken to with kindness.

With strong commanding language comes a heightened sense of power. Where people now feel that they can respond more abruptly. They have adjusted their behaviour to suit these worrisome times. These same kind, gracious people that we’ve perhaps engaged with for years. Our local stores. The personnel that stayed on to work. The decision was made to leave kind traits and manners behind in order to adopt a more regimented approach. Fear does strange things to people. 

Here’s the thing. This too shall pass. Life will resume. Essential stores will loosen their regulations. How then will we now interact together? Flip the channel. We’re back to our regularly scheduled personalities. Or is this personality really us, now? I’m confused.

When places start to re-open, we will be back to being citizens, customers and clients; eventually. What will that look-like?

We’ve experienced a new order. When times get tough the mean get meaner and the nice get less nice. Not always. There has been great kindness by people that opened their hearts rather than locked them away.

Life erodes a little at a time when we use words like:


Message received and adhered too. This is not unlike my experiences having lived in third world countries for a number of years. When people were given uniforms or new authority most lacked the understanding of how to lead with humility and kindness. Overnight, these same people transformed into authoritarian, militant-like bullies. This reminds me of the movie; “The Sound of Music,” – Austrian delivery boy fell in love with Liesl Von Trapp until he betrayed her and her family to serve for Hans Zeller and the Nazi Party. Dramatic and yet a good analogy.

What makes matters worse is we have vigilantes who take it upon themselves to bully and shame others. Not adhering to a new way of command gives license to groups such as this. Embraced is a sheep-like mentality. Gone is rationale thinking. 

What we know is that facts help us to best determine our actions. Facts can lead us toward calm. Facts when altered can create chaos. 

We have a new perspective after COVID-19. A different reality. Hopefully more resilient. Perhaps less. Perhaps more human. Hopefully less ego. Have we a sense of a new leveled playing field?

We were (am) all in this together. How does this now translate into our lives going forward?

Our work-life relationship has shifted. We have experienced a new sense of work. A new relationship with ourselves. Love it. Hate it. We have experienced it. 

Had this changed us? Are we any closer to what we want? Do we have a clearer understanding of ourselves?

There is nothing like a pandemic to put things into perspective. I like to describe it as: “I can see clearly now the rain has gone” as written by Johnny Nash. Or as my twin brother use to say in his stand-up routine; “I can see clearly now the drugs have worn off.”

NO or know, either way we’re different. I hope we’ve learned more about what we now know. Maybe we can adopt the Disney method. Where the word “No” is never used. 

I feel I now know.


  • Amy Goldberg

    Founder + CEO @ Push Back [Action, Growth, Engagement Strategist, Writer], International Speaker, Author, Producer [Creative Entrepreneur]

    Push Back

    Amy Goldberg is a creative entrepreneur + founder + CEO of Push Back; 'creating things to inspire people.' Often you need to push back to push forward. Amy's book BE YOUR TRUTH shows people how to identify, defeat, and deconstruct the inner barriers preventing us from taking decisive action. Her work includes creative producing, action, growth & connection strategy, business building, well-being advocating and writing. She works with several business sectors and thrives where she can share how to rethink and redefine the way business is run, and how one can lead a vibrant and optimistic life.