Today marks the first total solar eclipse in the United States since 1979. Most of us will either experience it live or watch it on video. This will be a shared national experience, a nice momentary intermission from our daily groove, and I, for one, am looking forward to it.
This solar eclipse got me thinking. There are two kinds of eclipses: temporary and permanent. One can be viewed as a warning, a random or intentional wake-up call that there is something bigger, more dominant, more imposing that can overshadow us, our business, a relationship or even our life. Think about the tractor trailer passing in front of us just as we need to see a highway sign: it temporarily eclipses our field of vision. On a more serious note, there are those whose lives are disrupted by the intermittent or ongoing eclipse of depression or an illness that blocks out the joys of life most of us take for granted.
In business, a permanent eclipse occurred when Netflix overtook Blockbuster. No light was ever seen again once the on-demand video streaming giant had eclipsed the business model of retail video rental. If you’ve ever watched auto racing, you’re familiar with a car in the lead blocking out the other cars’ ability to pass, eclipsing anyone else from winning.
What’s an example of a temporary or permanent eclipse you’ve experienced or could experience?
As I watch today’s solar eclipse (the next one won’t happen until 2024, so don’t miss it), I’ll be thinking about just how lucky we are that the sun won’t be eclipsed for more than a moment. Each of our lives and our civilization depend on the sun, so let’s all take a breath and be thankful when it comes back into view.
P.S. If you’re watching today’s eclipse through the lens of your phone while recording, know that your eyes aren’t protected just because you’re looking through your phone. Wear ISO-compliant protective glasses.