I have always been a curious one. Seeking out answers and understanding.
I can recall very vividly, at age 4 stuffing an entire roll of toilet paper into the toilet then flushing it because I wanted to see what would happen.
In college our small class of graduating occupational therapy students organized a graduation banquet and dance. Guess who received the superlative “Asks the most questions in class”…..This girl.
I have spent a good chunk of my life questioning authority. Sometimes in instigation or to stir the pot. But more often to understand, to know. Personally, I have a hard time investing myself into things I don’t understand, especially if said things are bound up with archaic traditions or belief systems. I feel that if I am being asked to devote myself to a cause I should at least be allowed, nay encouraged even, to fully comprehend every aspect.
Now, I recognize there are lots of traditions that I willingly participate in like holidays or taking my husband’s last name upon marriage or wearing a bra- Where I don’t entirely understand or agree with the principal or reasoning but I agree to play the game as the rules are laid out. There is a price to privilege of participation. This I understand. Some battles are just not my choosing- they are not that important to me.
One of many troublesome factors in this worldwide Covid-19 pandemic and crisis which I find growing is the general US population’s divide of beliefs. Generally, it seems that most people are falling into one of two categories:
Either you are believing and abiding all the government/ expert recommendations or you are questioning everything and doing as you see fit. Each of said groups, as I have witnessed and experienced are not being particularly open or compassionate to each other. This I find terribly disturbing on several levels.
For one, since when did we or should we ever blindly trust the government or people or organizations in powerful positions? Now, please don’t misunderstand me. I recognize and acknowledge that not all people who fall into these categories are greedy power hungry pigs but history has shown us ad infinitum that power and money alters people and usually not for the better. The stark bleak reality is that we only know the truth we are sold and spun. None of us really know what is going on with this virus. While you may not like that reality- I charge you with the responsibility of proving me incorrect. We have no fucking clue. Period. Which brings me to my next point.
Why do so many feel the need to shame, blame and belittle people who don’t agree with their viewpoint or are questioning authority? What have we devolved into? Are we sheep following out of fear because our Shepherd led us to this point? That same Shepherd who will eventually shear and slaughter us. That’s where we bank our blind faith? Are we so stuck on proving our point that we miss opportunities to learn, lead, model or teach? Has being ugly and mean-spirited ever actually effected a positive change? What’s the payout of such behavior? What if rather than blame someone for breaking the “stay at home” request you take a moment of compassion. Or if you see someone in a mask and gloves while on a walk outside you smile and offer a warm greeting rather than judge them. The fact of the matter is that none of us knows what it is like to live in another person’s world nor do we know what absolute right is in this current situation.
Let us take a moment to quell our fears and question and do what makes sense for us and us only. Tribe, I invoke you not to blindly trust any entity without due diligence. The reality is that there are no “good” outcomes in our current scenario. Peoples’ lives are and will continue to be destroyed and devastated. The question is not an if but a when and how. We are all characters in someone’s “choose your own adventure” book. Who’s book is it? Well, I guess that is up to each of us.
Friends, I know these are dark and scary times. Let us not turn on each other. Let us not be naive. Let us not make decisions out of fear. Rather, let us lean into one another and try to understand. Let us question everything and be our own advocates. Let us make decisions out of faith.
We will persist. We will survive.