Chapter 1 /

A letter from my home

Words: Courtney Chew


A letter from my home.


There is an overwhelming amount of things that we are all focusing on right now. We’re consuming news and the media to stay educated and aware of the current situation. We’re tied to technology and social media to keep us connected, and with that comes access to waves of good, like strangers in Italy dancing and singing with each other on their patios, but also the not so good, like the heightened xenophobia and neglect that some communities are facing. We’re dwelling about what the future looks like, and how we can prepare for ourselves, our loved ones, and for our work, when things that lie ahead are still uncertain. We’re thinking of the present, what necessities and essentials and groceries we need as each day comes. We’re trying our best to be there for our community and beyond, and support how we can, while still maintaining what we need to continue to feel safe, inspired, connected, positive, and calm, at home.  


I’m not sure about you, but for me all my thoughts are flooding my mind at hyper speed and my mental dialogue is constant; being at home all day definitely gives us the time and opportunity to think. A lot. And it’s hard to “prioritize” what thoughts to attend to. Which feelings we choose to let in, that will ultimately guide our day. 


There have been ups and there have been downs. And this will continue to be a constant flow for us as we all navigate this time. I definitely had a down day yesterday, where it left me feeling a little helpless. But, today, I woke up feeling inspired again, because I thought about my role and our community’s role as it connects to the rest of the world, and it reinstated hope and purpose. It reminded me that I have the fortunate and cherished ability to choose how we experience and take on this new norm; something so simple in thought, but to many, due to their environment or circumstance, is an action that is not available to them. 


As humans, we often think of ourselves first. We are inherently individual creatures built to survive and be resilient to our changing environment. But, in times of fear and worry, that tends to emphasize that “survival-of-the-fittest” instinct in us. We start to isolate from the world around us. We start to lose touch with the fact that we are truly a global species and that our actions and choices impact and extend past what we see in front of us. And if we lose that connection right now, it will be devastating for all of us. Community is necessary because the reality of having impact on a bigger group helps us function and keeps us together. It gives us the purpose we need to motivate humility, vulnerability, empathy, kindness, selflessness and altruism. Even in times of self-isolation, the choices we continue to make every day make a difference on everyone around us. This experience we have right now is an extreme awakening that even though countries, languages, governments, religions, cultures, borders might illustrate otherwise, we are truly and significantly ONE global community.


Everyone has hardships and worries and struggles. But, what prevents us from sitting in those often debilitating feelings, is perspective. Remembering that although what we feel is valid and worthy and completely okay, there are others that are also going through tough times too.   


So, it’s up to us to choose. 


To choose whether we live in the negative or if we push past that and stay positive. 

To choose to stay inside because by staying inside we will be saving lives of others and our frontline health care warriors. 

To choose to stay connected and share with others, because by being open we could be helping someone listening. 

To choose to do everything we can for people around us, even if it might feel small. 

To choose to do what we need for ourselves each day, even if it’s physically doing nothing at all, because that matters too. 

To choose to spend this time finding ways to bring lightness and heart to all the different communities that might not usually cross our daily paths like the less privileged, the homeless, the sick, the elderly. 

To choose to be kind and rise above hate. 

To choose to be thoughtful and not take more than we need. 

To choose to be generous and also grateful with our community and how we lean on one another. 

To choose to be okay with slowing down, taking the opportunity to analyze our relationship with work. 

To choose to spend time with our families or partners at home and strengthen these dynamics that sometimes are neglected. 

To choose creativity over complacency. 

To choose productivity over boredom and do all the things we’ve previously “had no time for.” 

To choose knowledge and learning over opinions and stubbornness. 

To choose to be patient and forgiving with ourselves when we feel down. 

To choose to look within and reimagine what world we want to live in after this is all over; what kind of businesses we want to exist, what kind of people we want to be, what initiatives we want to support to ensure health for all equally and our planet. 

To choose to endeavour this weird and wild journey that is pushing all of us together more than ever before, and finally listen to what the universe is trying to tell us. 

To choose to let go of our ego and unlearn what we think we know, so that we can make room for these big lessons that we have dismissed for too long. 


Never has there been a time when all of us are experiencing the same thing, that we can use to encourage us to shift from our individual instincts and lean into honest collaboration. We’ve been given a major wake up call (and scary for sure!) but also a unique opportunity to recreate and build a global world.


It's been absolutely inspiring seeing how businesses and communities are shifting, innovating, and getting creative right now. How many are showing kindness and selflessness and heart, without the slightest hesitation or expectation of return. We're seeing that by unifying our focuses and our resources, we are helping each other immensely. By dropping our ego we consider things with empathy and equality in mind. We are learning and reflecting and awakening and growing. We are inspiring something bigger for this new world. And, we're showing ourselves, that we will get through this together. 


Sending a big virtual hug from my home to yours,


P.S. I've been reading some other letters that have been providing us with some interesting insight as well. Linked them here if you're curious. If anyone ever wants to chat or share their thoughts, feel free to direct message us anytime @ocin or email us at


• The Red Hand Files – Why is this the time to get creative? 

• Monologue – By Bobby from The Hundreds