Is it possible to be very happy – and very sad at the same time? To feel overwhelmingly relieved, but at the same time extremely frustrated?
I believe so.
If nothing else, the pandemic has challenged us all with the need for dialectic thinking. Understanding that two things can be true at the same time. That we are not navigating in black and white, in a landscape of absolutes. But instead recognizing, that we are – for the most part – operating in grey zones, where opposites balance each other out and co-exist.
For my part, the year of the pandemic has been a constant balance between accepting the way things are – but at the same time working towards changing the situation. Understanding that while the issues we have faced here at Liseberg in the grand scheme of things are insignificant details, these issues will be determining factors for the long-term success of the company.
Last week, we finally got the green light to re-open Liseberg after 14 months of waiting. We will open June 3rd. It will be a very happy day indeed. For our guests. For our employees. For our community.
So why the reservations, you might ask? Well, because it is a year too late.
For more than a year, the Swedish amusement parks have been the only parks in Europe forced to remain closed, because of an antiquated legislative framework – and the lack of political willingness to change it.
The re-opening of Liseberg will be a very symbolic step in the journey towards a post-covid normalization of our everyday life. Which is positive. But it is also this symbolism that, in fact, has stalled the parks opening for more than a year. In an otherwise liberal – or balanced, depending on viewpoint – Swedish COVID-strategy, amusement parks were singled out, and kept closed. ‘This is where we draw the line’, as it was expressed.
I understand very well that we are part of something bigger. But it did not have to be this way.
Two things can be true at the same time. But right now, I will focus – singularly – on the good. We are heading towards brighter times.