THE IDES OF JULY 202O
We think of ourselves as separate beings. Which makes a lot of sense. If I don’t eat then I will starve. No matter how many others are eating. And none of those people will feel my hunger. If I can’t hear, then I will miss a truck’s horn when it sounds. Though everyone else does hear it blow. And they won’t feel the silence I do. If I can’t read then I won’t know what the letters “T O X I C W A S T E” mean. Even if the people around me do. And they won’t know of my shortcoming; unless I share it.
If we are singular beings with personal needs as our only concern, then we can focus on those needs; without regard to anyone else. For everyone else is our competition. So they are stumbling blocks in our path toward success. Just obstacles in the landscape of our life’s journey. Then me first becomes me only. Unless we find people who will support our goals over their own. Yet our wants and needs will be our full agenda. Therefore every action we take will be to satisfy our desires. As we will have no other cares.
Even when we acknowledge that we are part of a larger society, it is still reasonable to consider the viewpoint we know best, first. However not exclusively. As a part of society we need to understand (and respect) that we are not singular beings; isolated from everyone else. And realize our actions and behaviors have a ripple-effect of consequences among the people around us. When we drive to work we impact traffic flow and gasoline use. Or when we shop in the grocery store we affect the store’s buying and hiring decisions. When we take a drink of water or a breath of air.
It is easy to seek our own desires first; as they are the first desire we are aware of. Thus it helps to think we are distinct and separate from everyone else. It also provides a feeling of autonomy. The sense that our decisions primarily affect us, so we can make them freely. For in our society we claim the right to make mistakes; in the pursuit of our happiness. And even when we make mistakes or misdeeds that hurt other people; we can still feel entitled to do so. But people also expect society to correct mistakes and punish misdeeds. Which shows us we are not isolated in our desire for justice.
Nor are we self-sufficient. The pandemic we face giving us a glimpse into a possible future where multiple societal systems could collapse. Beginning with our health care system. And extending to our food distribution network; our transportation system; as well as manufacturing centers. Or drinking water filtration systems. Each and every one of these systems share a single element in common. An component that none of these services can function without. The crucial factor is the workforce of people who run them.
While we spend our time debating whether or not the threat is real; the disease spreads. While we argue over masks and social distancing; people are going hungry. People are being thrown out of their homes. And while we dither over shutting down communities or opening schools; the virus gains an opportunity. The gift of time. Time to feast on human flesh. Time to learn more ways to attack our bodies; and our children. Which means we must take time; to focus on the true threat to our well being. And that is not each other.
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J. A. Stubbs, Editor-In-Chief
Forgotten Lore Publishing, llc