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With a modest amount of power comes a modest amount of responsibility

We've been doing this thing for a few days, now. Some of us are in full quarantine, some of us are voluntarily self-isolating, and I think the UK just closed schools? At my house, we're all working from home (or off school) but still judiciously going out to shop for provisions and go for walks.

These past few days have been a fascinating window into leadership. A lot of folks are being called on to lead who probably did not anticipate they would be called on to make public health decisions in their role as, say, retail store owner or property manager. So, people are stepping up (or not), some being decisive, some waffling, some remaining conspicious by their absence.

And people are telling each other what to do. Anyone with any platform at all is wielding it for the greater good. All those earnest exhortations — wash my hands, stay inside, take time for self-care, keep moving, stay connected, prepare for the imminent collapse of the supply chain or whatever catastrophe they are looking forward to with barely concealed glee. (I might follow too many activists.) I suppose it makes people feel more in control to give advice, but it sure makes social media less fun.

So my heart is not in giving advice today. I tried writing two different essays on two different topics and I just couldn't get into it. There's plenty of information out there about how to work remotely, how to stay connected, how to set up e-learning, how to keep your kids amused, how to stay emotionally and physically healthy. I don't have anything to add. So instead, I'm going to write some reviews of stuff I've enjoyed lately.

Good Stuff

On Netflix (maybe?)

I am a nature show junkie from back in the '80s, and David Attenborough keeps on raising the bar. Our Planet: Behind the Scenes combines the exquisite scenery and wildlife photography of the new BBC nature shows with another of my favourite things, shows about work. The months and years of effort (where effort can involve anything from days of silent waiting and watching to sloshing through swamps with massive cameras) that go into creating minutes of footage are staggering. Plus, you can get an astonishing rash wading around in swamps. Who knew?! (The ending is really sad, but I think you can't make a show about nature without a sad ending.)

Horror movies are not normally my thing, but ever since I watched Parasite I've been digging into South Korean movies, and Train to Busan is one of the those movies that everyone wants to know if you've watched. So I watched it, and yes, it is a zombie movie, and yes it is scary, but there is also character development and a good plot. (I just checked, though, and this isn't on Netflix Canada any more.)

On YouTube

Bon Appétit magazine has a YouTube channel with lots of neat stuff, but the best is a series in which pastry chef Claire Saffitz recreates commercial candies and baked goods. She's earnest and committed to getting every detail right, and it's amazing to watch her experiment and MacGyver her way to perfection. Right now I'm watching her recreate American Girl Scout cookies.

ContraPoints is the YouTube channel of Natalie Wynn, who creates beautifully produced thinkpieces about politics and philosophy and life. One of my favourites is titled "Incels". If you run through that, Philosophy Tube is more of the same kind of thing, and Lindsay Ellis adds a film studies/pop culture twist.

On Paper

Trevor Noah's memoir, Born a Crime, is about his childhood as an illegal human being, the child of a Black mother and a white father. Noah's combination of intelligence and humour spotlights the absurdity of racism and the unique challenges of growing up in 80's South Africa. Apparently the audiobook version, read by Noah himself, is fantastic.

I had to go pretty far back in my Goodreads read list to find a novel that I liked, because I don't read enough novels, but I finally got to Bad Ideas by Missy Marston. It's a sweet, short book about what happens to a small-town woman's life when an adventurous stranger rolls into town. I guess you'd have to order this from Amazon or something, but it's available as an e-book and audiobook as well as paper.

What's New

It's a funny time, isn't it, to be doing business? I can't really be approaching people and asking them to spend a bunch of money developing employees whom they won't lay eyes on for weeks. That's okay, I have lots of other things to do. Research and thinking and stuff.

On the skills-and-certification side, I'm chipping away at some particular coaching skills in preparation for a certification exam that I'm planning, in a very vague way, to take. At some point.

Fun and Interesting

Thank you for reading this far!

If you like what you read, hit reply and let me know, or forward it and let someone else know. If you have questions or comments, hit reply and let me know. If you have seen something interesting out there, hit reply and let me know. Are you seeing a trend here? If so... hit reply and let me know! I look forward to hearing from you. ❤️

Amy Rhoda Brown Coaching
Copyright © 2020 Amy Rhoda Brown Coaching, All rights reserved.

I live and work on land which for thousands of years has been part of the traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishinaabe and the Huron-Wendat. Today, this meeting place is still home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island, and I am glad to be able to live and work here.

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