The corona crisis has been called a test of our national character. I am calling it a test of our individual characters.
As we as individuals and families react to the coronavirus pandemic, are we thinking of ourselves, of others, or both?
That is the subject of today’s 10-minute episode.
Everyone can be infected; the serious consequences are concentrated on those over 50 years of age. If you take the recommended inconvenient precautions, you take care of yourself and others. If you do not, because of laziness, ignorance or selfishness, you endanger others.
Politicians are fond of using the phrase, “The most vulnerable among us.” meaning the poor, sick and needy–then announcing taxpayer-funded programs to help them. In these corona days, that phrase, the most vulnerable among us, means those at greatest risk from the virus. And we can all help them at no cost beyond personal inconvenience.
So, Will, do we have any individual responsibility to others not to spread the virus? Or can we just let others and the government take care of things as we go about doing what we want to do? Let’s consult the bible one this on–Mathew 25:
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
Even if you don’t consult the bible for thoughts about how to handle yourself, doesn’t it just follow the rules of common decency to take care of others–even if you can’t do everything you want, when you want?
What should we make of the tens of thousands of spring breakers who are crowding beaches and bars, with no thought about how they might be spreading the virus a–virus that is likely harmless to them, but could be fatal to others?
And the coronavirus challenge with the, um, point, being to lick germy surfaces–they post the video online?
And hoarders. Profiteers. Oh, and the multitude of politicians and pundits who are using this crisis for their personal and party’s gain.
But let me shine a light on others–the wonderful others. Neighbors who offer grocery shopping and child care. The not-at-risk who take precautions so they won’t be a part of spreading this disease to those at risk. Healthcare workers who show up even at elevated risk to themselves. They are out there. Other workers who show up so that they can feed their families. They’d probably prefer to be home binge watching. Let’s find these heroes, and publicize them.
Will you help with that? Tell me about these people.
When I get asked the question, “Will, isn’t this being overblown?” I respond with a story. There was a man who had a splitting headache, so he took two aspirin before he went to bed. When he woke up, the headache was gone. His friend asked, “So, the aspirin worked?” “I don’t know”, he replied, “But the next time I have a headache, I will do the same thing.”
Blaise Pascal was a 17th Century French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Catholic theologian. Among other things, he is known for “Pascal’s Wager.” Here is his famous bet:
If you believe in God, it is a win or tie proposition. If there is a God and you die, you win; if there isn’t, it is a tie. If you don’t believe in God and you die, you lose; if there isn’t a God, it is a tie. Which would you prefer, a win or tie bet, or a lose or tie bet?
Of course, not everyone would see a lifetime of being obedient to a non-existing God as a tie. I would argue against that, but I see the point.
Does Pascal’s Wager apply to the coronavirus situation? I would love to hear your thoughts about this as well as the typically unsung heroes in your neighborhood.
Let’s close with some positive things we can all do:
- Call friends, quarantined or not. We all need to connect.
- Buy gift certificates to your favorite local restaurants. Use them when this all goes away.
- Get outside in the sunshine. Ask others to go with you.
- Donate to your local food bank.
- Be of good cheer. Encourage others to do the same.
This is a perfect time to remind ourselves that the core, driving principles at Revolution 2.0, are:
- Personal Responsibility; take it, teach it and,
- Be Your Brother’s Keeper. The answer to the biblical question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is a ringing, unequivocal “Yes.” There is no other answer.
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Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.