Alice, a seven-year-old girl, is feeling bored and drowsy while sitting on the riverbank with her elder sister. She notices a talking, clothed white rabbit with a pocket watch run past. She follows it down a rabbit hole where she suddenly falls a long way to a curious hall with many locked doors of all sizes.

Maybe we became too complacent, too drowsy with 21st Century life. We could have anything we wanted any time, we could go almost anywhere. We were dominated by choice, variety, lines, options, preferences and control.

Well Alice is all of our stories now. We have fallen down the rabbit hole and we are in another world. Nothing is the same. Old paradigms don’t work. We are small when we were once big and too big to fit through the new doors that face us.

The Cheshire Cat famously has a conversation with Alice…

Maybe we all feel like Alice now, which way next? The Cheshire Cats answer is maybe not as perplexing to us now as before. I want to go out! I want to be free again.

The next steps we take in life, in business, in communities and families are going to look different. I think Alice is a kind of heroine to us for this time. She didn’t give up, she kept going. She enters a strange challenging world and is faced with incredible challenges. Her true character shines through. One commentator lists her virtues as curiosity, courage, kindness, intelligence, courtesy, humour, dignity, and a sense of justice. These virtues would stand us in good stead for the rabbit hole world we find ourselves in now.

Whether through fault of our own, or some cosmic chance of microbiology. All of us, as businesses, communities, families and individuals can learn from this young girls surprising adventure and her incredible character that sees her home.

“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”

Illustrations from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, drawn by John Tenniel

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