I thought we wanted to establish something different. Something less chaotic. Something more balanced and stable. And yet, when that pipeline went down people bum rushed the gas stations in a panic in the exact same manner that they hoarded the toilet paper and Clorox wipes a year ago. Then the news broke on the removal of mask mandates and you’ve never seen rage like that erupt over safety protocols. Everybody is screaming over the debate over safety versus “I have my rights!” It seems that we learned nothing in the past year. That’s a shame, because there’s no excuse for not knowing better.
I’ve had talks with two different people over the past couple of weeks who said they hoped that COVID would bring us together and make us more compassionate, but the events of the past week seem to point to the opposite result: we’ve turned more selfish. Nobody seems to care as long as they and the people closest to them are ok. To hell with them all beyond that. As a person, it’s sad and disappointing to see such blatant disregard for our fellow humans. As a writer, I’m becoming convinced that my vision of the future is unrealistic, bleak, and way too optimistic. Like many people, I actually wonder how much of a future we do have left at this rate.
I don’t know what to think. If you see the news and social media posts, then it seems that we’re incredibly stupid. There has certainly been plenty out there to verify the “dumb redneck” stereotype that southerners get slapped with all the time. But I also wonder if it’s really a matter of dumb, or lazy. Thinking is hard, and panic is instinct. It takes brain power to sit down and consider what’s right and best, and frankly it seems that many default to living in a “reaction” mode to life.
I’ve recalled the lessons I learned in college, especially on that Independent Study I did my final semester before graduation. There are some lessons that I feel we could all benefit from. For example:
- Don’t complain about the problem, work the problem. You already have the problem. The only way out is through, so get to work on a path forward.
- Act, don’t react. Reaction create consequences. Thoughtful action puts you in control.
- Failure isn’t fatal. (Most of the time)
- And finally one from church: pray about everything and have faith. We give this one a lot of lip service, and little practical application. And yet, it works. For all the craziness that has been this week, things have worked out fine here. Not ideally, and certainly not as smoothly as we could have liked, but it’s all working out and on track.
It’s a shame those four pieces of advice aren’t as popular as the panic is. I hoped COVID would teach us to be more mature and thoughtful. Instead, it seems we’re more nervous and willful.
We’ll see what happens as this return to normal continues. In the meantime, you all stay safe, consider this advice, and have a great weekend.