The number of extremely premature born babies fell in Denmark by 90% during the nationwide Covid19 lockdown period in March and April 2020. These are the findings of a new study conducted by the Neonatal Department of Rigshospitalet (RH), Denmark, carried out in conjunction with Statens Serum Institute (SSI) under the auspices of the Danish Ministry of Health.
Shortly after Covid19 Phase 1, at a network meeting of Business Leaders, I found that out of a group of 40 business executives, 20 felt that the most important experience during the 3-month lockdown had been that they had gotten to know their wife better. Most had been married for more than 25 years.
Many families say they have experienced more tranquility, togetherness and time for each other, because the normal activities that used fill their days were put on hold.
In the 1950s, psychologist John Bowlby studied the child’s attachment to his mother. He discovered that attachment and relationship are vital. Children literally lock themselves down if they are left unattached. We have seen this in studies in Romanian orphanages and among post WWII children. Most interesting, however, is that this relates not only to children and their primary caregivers, but to being human. It is a need that all people have. A need that lies so deep that we can call it “the yearning of the soul”.
When I meet on a two-on-one basis with business leaders, it often turns out, that at the root of all the thoughts they share about their careers, success, and commitments, they still come to a realisation that something is missing. At the root lies this “yearning of the soul,” namely, this deep longing for attachment.
This can be said to be true for both leaders and their employees. Yes, all people in the workplace and those who do not go to work. Empirical studies have shown, over and over again, that most of us do not think that what we are doing is sufficiently meaningful and satisfying. It is so tempting to look for affirmation from external things, like a new job, a new car or an extra-long vacation. The answer to the deep longing lies in a place we know, but which we have forgotten, lost in this era of individualisation, achievement and busyness.
It is claimed that only 15% of us are fully satisfied with our work life. Many are not happy when they leave home to go to work in the morning. International statistics say that just as many of us — four out of five — regularly feel a degree of stress.
To my ears it sounds the same: something is wrong, run off track and it has gone beyond mental health. We’re talking about the health of the soul.
In Luke 10:30, the Levite and the priests walked right past a wounded man. They probably had a strong focus on their goals, career, position and money. They did not realise that, in their pursuit of these things, they had lost something along the way. The reality is that throughout the community there are people who, like the Good Samaritan, make an effort to help vulnerable people connect to communities equipped with the necessities that will make a difference in a difficult situation. In Cinnamon Network we aim to activate and support churches to reach out and transform our cities, communities, and countries as a whole. We measure and create the documentation needed to promote it to the public. Christian charity not only creates social change for the vulnerable and needy, it transforms the giver, and fulfilment and meaning to life.
By Peter Sigetty Bøje,
Chairman of Cinnamon Network Denmark and
CEO of Charisma Capital International.