Shouldn’t the pandemic be over?
Nope, it keeps going on and on and on like some bad four-hour director’s cut of Blade Runner.
So, what do we do now?
Well, it’s time for me to channel the great philosophers like Socrates, Gandhi, and Dave Berry to answer that question.
First, where are we in the world?
In the US, the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan was so horrifically f’d up, that it made the Vietnam withdrawal look like a well-organized Bob Hope Christmas show. Meanwhile, Australia has a 0 tolerance lockdown that makes North Korea say, “Oi, mate, that’s a bit much, isn’t it?” And, in Canada, we have an election no one asked for and no one wanted.
Super fun times.
Locally, after nearly two months of BC burning, the fires and evacuation orders are ticking down. Finally, some good news!.
Our government, though, after implementing restrictions on the unvaccinated, advised people to call the police if they have a confrontational person in your store or bar or dog spa. Totally doable if we properly fund the police, but it’s like asking the firefighters to fight a dozen fires with just one dude from their calendar who looks great with his shirt off.
It feels like too many people are doing what they feel is right, rather than what might actually be scientifically right… or heck, just using simple common sense. Sort of like me thinking I can breathe in space because I saw Bugs Bunny do it.
Which leads back to me. As do all things, really.
The more I think about this, the more I think thinking has become viewed as a bad thing in our society.
Ok, sure, thinking too much led to the atomic bomb. Thinking too much led to censoring ideas we don’t like. Thinking too much led to wide-ranging conspiracies theories like 9-11 was ordered by George Bush, there are parasites in the vaccines, or the world is flat, or square or rides on the back of a turtle led by Elvis.
But what do we do if we don’t think at all? Rely on feelings?
That’s even worse.
Feelings ignore facts the way I ignore yellow lights. Feelings lead to fear and fear leads to hate and hate leads to becoming Darth Vader.
Feelings ignore doing what might be in the common good.
So, what do we do if we can’t overthink things, and can’t rely on our feelings?
What else is there?
Wait, wait, I know this!
We discuss and listen, not to be right, but to understand.
I mean, hey, Matthew McConaughey learned this while listening to two men talking in a bar, and when he took a side, one said, “It is not about right or wrong. It is about ‘Do you understand?!’”
By listening, we can discover why people are afraid of something like the vaccine. By accepting they are afraid, rightly or wrongly, we can offer support and advise them, and maybe sneak in a fact or two.
By not having to be right, maybe, just maybe we can come to understand that they want the same things – to be safe, to be free, to live a life without constant fear.
By understanding, we may just slow the hate a bit and that’s a good goal, right. No need to post nasty hate on Facebook or spread intolerance, hate, and misinformation on Twitter so those companies can sell more advertising, but instead phone a family member and see how they’re doing, text a friend and set up a tea date, write an email to someone who inspired you to be a better person.
To get through this, overthinking isn’t going to help. Listening too much to your feelings isn’t going to help. Being the best person you can be in these times, well, that kinda is.
Now I have to run. Matthew McConaughey and I are going to discuss the nature of the wind because, you know, it’s harder to talk to Gandhi and Socrates about stuff.
Very wise, brother. In return, let me quote Rust Cohle: “Death created time to grow the things that it would kill.”
Yeah, that really has nothing to do with anything, but I like it.