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Look below the surface

There has been a lot of anger and frustration in our country lately; basically because the attitudes towards the pandemic we’re facing fall into two categories; I call them the Darwinians and the Egalitarians.

Darwinians look at the situation we’re in and have realized that we cannot recapture the world as we have known it if we keep social distancing for as long as it would take to defeat this virus. For various reasons (and I’m not going to bother to point fingers here), our country is now in poor economic shape and 20-30% of our work force is struggling to pay bills without sufficient employment.

They see that if we go back to business as usual people will die, but it will only be .5-3% of the population ultimately (depending on which statistics you follow), and the people culled will generally be the elderly, infirm, and impoverished, who are a monetary drag on society anyway. Practically speaking, they say, though dying from a disease is awful, and many of us will be sad; that’s life and that small amount of the population succumbing is acceptable collateral damage. Our way of life is more important.

The Egalitarians believe that all lives are precious and equally valuable and that, therefore, no sacrifice is too great to keep as many people alive as possible. They would prefer to see better food and shelter safety nets so that workers wouldn’t suffer while we all shelter in place as long as it takes to get herd immunity through medication/vaccine/nutrition/homeopathy (basically whatever workable solution human ingenuity can come up with).

Darwinians believe that Egalitarians are sentimental idealists with no grip on reality. Egalitarians believe Darwinians are heartless, money-hungry robots.

Neither is true. No one loves to see thousands of people die. And no one wants to see people’s businesses and life’s savings disappear into bankruptcy. We’re just in a very challenging situation and trying to find our way through a situation we’ve never experienced before. Rather than throwing ourselves rabidly at each other’s throats, let’s take a minute to presume that we’re all human beings doing the best we can to find a solution to a terrible situation.

Only in working together can we eventually survive as a society. Hate is an incredible waste of energy and time and simply does not produce any viable results. So take a deep breath, look below the surface, let go of your positionality for a minute, and focus on the end game:survival. Be kind. And please, stay safe ❤️🌈❤️

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© 2015 by JP Van Hulle for Michael Educational Foundation