Now that I have your attention, this is effectively a continuation of last week’s piece “Resilience.” As explained there, this most peculiar year has caused Florida’s individuals, families, and businesses to observe, absorb, and adapt newly flexible ways-of-life and work-styles to accommodate remote relationships, work, online life, and decreased travel, to name just a few examples of the changes the collective ‘We’ are undergoing.
But why a reference to Iceland? Because – Lately, through a happy accident of a YouTube suggestion, I have become interested with that country, its beautiful topography, and its absolutely captivating music. Recently I have listened to quite a bit of the catalogue of symphonic/electronic composer Ólafur Arnalds. And of the late Jóhann Jóhannsson.
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(I have not, however, limited myself to just Icelandic composers. I am also listening to The Cinematic Orchestra from Britain, Nils Frahm and Hans Zimmer from Germany, Max Richter from both Germany and the U.K., M83, from France, and RY X from Australia. And always Philip Glass from the United States.)
You see, my personal aesthetic is minimalism. I am a ‘less is more’ kind of person. Which is the reason I have a Henry David Thoreau quote on the bookcase in my office and within sightline. (Which leads to a logical conundrum – I was a philosophy major in college – if one focuses intently on being a minimalist, is one no longer being minimalist? That is a question for another day and venue.) And the overall Icelandic sense coordinates well with a minimalist lifestyle. (At the risk of using a triple-negative, not that there are no non-minimalists there. Ólafur Arnalds himself had his start as the drummer in a punk band.)
Now what does this have to do with resilience in general, and how resilience applies to Floridians in particular?
I have given a good deal of thought to the reasons why Icelandic music is so barebones in composition, and yet lush in tonality at the same time. It came together for me while observing some of “Route One” by Iceland’s Sigur Rós, a 24-hour long musical composition paired with a continuous video of a drive along Iceland’s actual perimeter Route One, both through its paved and unpaved components. (To be sure, I am not through all 24 hours of the ‘journey’; just 11.5 hours so far.)
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What became apparent to me while following “Route One” is that so much of Iceland appears to be barren, untamed…and quiet. Quiet during the warmer months, and especially during the cold/snowy months. The kind of quiet which gives artists of all forms an organic opportunity to think and create. (It happens to be that I am inherently drawn to music and writing, so that is my particular area of inclination.)
And that is where the pandemic has involuntarily placed Floridians. Society has ‘closed’ (or at least slowed) for business for the time-being. The scope of activity is simply not currently ‘there’. Which gives us an Icelandic opportunity to think. And to plan.
To plan for what our lives will look like when the pandemic is tamed, and when businesses, school, and social lives emerge from a type of hibernation and resume. So now, while we have time, we should be asking ourselves will they restore the same as before, or will there be an evolution of sorts?
Which, in turn, leads to questions of planning. In an optimistic perspective of ‘normal life showing to emerge, Floridians – which means both people and businesses -should now consider what they will do and how they will do ‘it’. Will business look the same? Will it operate the same? What will be the mix of human, material, and financial resources available and utilized? How will customer/client/patron and contractor/vendor/investor relationships take shape? And, perhaps, most importantly, what will be the duration and wave-shape of that cycle of normalcy?
Those are the questions of a recurring theme in this series of articles – proactive risk management. Savvy people and businesses are already playing the ‘long game’ of running models of this cycle, the next one, and possibly the ones after that one. Doing that are functions of collecting environmental data, adding that knowledge to one’s learning curve, and always being flexible to attend to predictable, variant, and quantum-level ecospace changes.
Which itself means inventorying and revisiting ongoing and prospective tangible and intangible assets (and sources of needed assets), liabilities, relationships, and policies, practices, and procedures, all on an ‘ahead of the curve’ basis. And, with a ‘Yin/Yang’ type pairing, identifying the reactive measures appropriate to hedge against untoward environmental turns through adequate types and amounts of insurance and contractual covenants.
The opportunity to do this is now. While we are collectively living a sort of Icelandic quiet-time.
* What is with this new trend of one word titles? And no footnotes!
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– For more information, call Philip N. Kabler of the Gainesville, FL office of Bogin, Munns & Munns at 352.332.7688, where he practices in the areas of business, banking, real estate, and equine law. He has taught business and real estate law courses at the University of Florida Warrington College of Business Administration and Levin College of Law and is the President-Elect of the Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association.
NOTICE: The article above is not intended to serve as legal advice, and you should not rely on it as such. It is offered only as general information. You should consult with a duly licensed attorney regarding your Florida legal matter, as every situation is unique. Please know that merely reading this article, subscribing to this blog, or otherwise contacting Bogin, Munns & Munns does not establish an attorney-client relationship with our firm. Should you seek legal representation from Bogin, Munns & Munns, any such representation must first be agreed to by the firm and confirmed in a written agreement.