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COOPERATE, AND YOU MIGHT JUST THRIVE

2020 has been the toughest year we’ve ever faced. And while it’s taken me longer than I’d have liked, I’m there; beyond the constraints. COVID-19 is our greatest blessing.

This may feel uncomfortable to some readers, especially if you’re experiencing loss at this time (we have too). But I began processing by considering how – as a species – we arrived at this place. Newton’s third law of motion states that every action has an equal or opposite reaction. Consider some of the actions we’ve taken as the human race:

  • In 1800 the world population was one billion. It’s 7.7 billion today.

  • Between 1820 and 1975 agricultural production across the world doubled four times (first over 100 years, then in just 30, 15, and the last duplication took only 10 years).

  • In the 1950s, chickens grown for meat took 18 to 21 weeks to grow to maturity; by 2003 this had been reduced by two thirds (due to genetic selection and nutritional modifications); we now produce a chicken in just six weeks.

  • The concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, as of 2018, is the highest it has been in three million years.

  • Seventeen of the 18 warmest years in recorded human history have occurred since 2000.

As the industrial revolution found its rhythm, breathing life into machines and scaling beyond anything previously thought possible, collectively our culture and society adapted to the idea of mass-produced, widely available, and often depreciating goods.


As we bought more with less money (and in many instances with money we didn’t have), we invented ways to spend on nonessentials, which we’ve had to buy additional space to keep (at year-end 2019, storage is a $38billion industry). Do you see anything wrong with this picture?! We gave birth to more and more people and required more and more resources to sustain this exploded population. Many of these practices fuelled each other to create systems of cyclical dependency.

We’ve acted like the mindless, survival-obsessed caterpillar that consumes up to 300 times its body weight per day before entering the cocoon stage. This moment in human evolution demands that “our collective human consciousness must finally stop consuming and surrender to the chrysalis, in which everything it has known itself to be dissolved” (Azrya Cohen Bequer, March 2020). Corona is our chrysalis stage as a species; it has forced us into a cocoon and is breaking us – mindless, immature consumers – down. Shadow self In a previous insight, I explored the notion of the power of the mind to manifest multiple realities. I believe that our collective mindlessness has resulted in the realities we experience today: Newton’s equal and opposite reaction is here. If we had been mindful enough to allow our liberality to manifest as stewardship instead of prodigality, we would not be facing this crisis we’ve created.


COVID-19 has been traumatic for many. For business. – like for the individual – this is the time to choose.


We do the work, reconcile consciousness and shadow, and rewrite the narrative of how we do business going forward. Pure profit motives are unsustainable; the cost of doing business will be acceptable to all (including the Earth).

Instead of being part of a business based on non-essentials; consider being in one that provides essential value. Instead of extracting value; create value. Instead of working for a paycheck; work for a purpose. Instead of feeding the consumerist machine; do something that feeds your soul. There is this incredible, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us to emerge from the cocoon as the butterfly, ready to pollinate, fertilise, and help the Earth prosper. Now is the time to consider these choices while the distractions of life have been suspended long enough for us to create the space to think. Eddie calls Venom a parasite every so often; it’s the running joke. But Venom – your shadow self – is a symbiote. The darkness is your symbiote; you and your shadow are not so different. As you learn to negotiate with your darkness, you will surface the neutral, addressing and healing the dark manifestation of it, and creating a new narrative in which the light version is expressed. As Eddie says to Venom at the end of the film, “We have to have some ground rules.”


Do the work. Rewrite your narrative, and you will rewrite business, the economy; our Earth; our humans. Cooperate, and you might just thrive. That is the deal. © Natalie Maroun

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