Is it just me or are people really on edge right now?

At work, at the grocery store, at the gym — people seem more brusque, more angry, more fearful.

What we’re seeing is a destructive cycle borne from a collective feeling of insecurity.

Faced with an exponential rate of change, technological progress that feels incomprehensible, and a perceived lack of agency as we watch institutions and democratic systems falter at home and abroad, it’s easy to see why we are in want of safety.

To be sure, there are those among us right now who have real reasons to sincerely fear for both psychological and physical safety. And I believe all of us are feeling less secure now than we have in recent memory.

Google’s incredible study of teams shows us that the most important variable for a group to function is psychological safety. Yet we feel this safety being ripped away right before our eyes.

As we feel less safe, we’re more likely to let our fear drive our actions; our fearful actions, in turn, make others feel less safe. Fear begets fear.

Let’s refuse to let this become the new normal.

Let’s start breaking this cycle.

It might be an act of empathy. It might be an act of patience. It might be an act of love, humor or space. In any case it’s a small, but brave act of leadership.You’ll know best what to do — the key is simply to choose to serve others.

Will you commit to making one person around you feel more safe each day for the next week?