Conversations: August 4, 2020
Statement from Mayor Brent Latham
“Good morning citizens – please permit me a moment of personal privilege to share here a reflection in these challenging times. These thoughts are borne from my experience guiding our city over the past months, and I believe that it applies equally in our village and the world at at large.
The pandemic is a mirror.
There’s been a theory, or maybe just a hope, that this crisis would make us all kinder, more empathetic.
In my work I deal with a wide range of people daily. And I did actually start out believing the opposite – that the stresses of this universally alarming situation in which we are all embroiled, would make everyone more self-centered and difficult for a time, understandably.
But as time has passed the evidence has led me somewhere else.
This crisis doesn’t make us better, or worse. It makes each one of us a more intense version of who we already are.
If you are kind, you have become kinder in the time of need for so many.
If you are empathetic, you have never felt the suffering of others quite so personally.
But if you are selfish, now you can think even less of others than your own situation, particularly desperate or not.
If you are pensive, you find yourself locked deeper in thought than ever before.
If you are anxious, this crisis is a pure nightmare for you.
If you are a leader, your will to lead is stronger than ever before, and the course you set is truer.
But if you are a brute, you have reached new levels of brutishness.
If you are an enabler, you have found new ways to help and support all around you.
But if you are a naysayer, you are using this crisis to find a million ways to tell others what can’t be done and why they will fail.
And if you are a visionary, you see a million new opportunities on this brave new horizon.
Interestingly, to me this effect seems uncorrelated to how the crisis has effected people on a personal level. Those who have lost their jobs and are on food assistance are just as likely to have become even kinder, as those who have been relatively unaffected are just as likely to become more self-centered.
Who you are in this time of change is all about who you are deep inside, not where you are today.
The pandemic is a mirror.”
About Mayor Brent Latham
Mayor Brent Latham was born and raised in South Florida and elected as North Bay Village’s mayor in 2018. He has a master’s degree in international relations from Georgetown University and another in international business administration from Instituto de Empresa in Madrid, Spain. Over the last decade, Mayor Latham specialized in strategic communications, operations, and management in the sports industry across the world. He has also worked on Capitol Hill as a small business development Peace Corps volunteer in Central America, project manager with the United Nations in West Africa, and executive manager of an education and youth development non-profit organization in South America. Today, Mayor Latham works and lives in North Bay Village with his wife and two kids.