Once we had an elected official talk about “ one thousand points of light. “ This was a description for his dream of people citizens donating their time and helping one another with regards to promoting the common good.
My, that seems like eons ago ! Not many people would describe what we have been through this past year As being “ a thousand points of life. “ A more apt description for how many people would describe the past year would be “ good riddance. “
During this challenging time, why wouldn’t people be willing to help one another more fully ? Why wouldn’t elected officials want to do everything in their power to assist those who are in grave need ?
We witnessed a lot of the unthinkable in the past few years. Truth has been challenged, reduced to “ alternative facts “, if not viewed as being passé. Media organizations have been repeatedly portrayed as being “: the enemy of the people. “. Those who have proposed different policies in contrast to positions offered by a particular administration have been viewed as suspect, out of touch and to be minimized and dismissed.
All in all, this has been a dangerous time. Every thing that would be considered sane to do or pursued has been rejected, and the very opposite, to the point of ludicrous credulity has been embraced.
Like the classic film “ King Of Hearts “ ( 1966 ) used to say:
“ In times of war, what’s more dangerous the lunatics inside the asylum or those outside ? “
We have certainly witnessed a lot of lunacy. Author Thomas Frank has described what we have witnessed as being “ a thousand points of awful . “
I agree. The challenge now is how do we recover from all of this ?
First, I would argue that it is important that we recommit ourselves as a people to truth and integrity. It does matter what you say and it does matter what you do. The idea that that we can just avoid dangerous rhetoric and just wait for results that we hope will be profitable for us can be very perilous as seen previously and what has occurred before with other historical regimes.
Second, we can no longer hide behind isolationism, populism and our vested interests and not realize that what one nation does has tremendous effects for other countries on the planet, including what we do to preserve the earth for future generations.
Third, we need to invest heavily in public health and to taking care of all people, including focusing on eradicating as much disease as possible and to be vigilant to prevent any other potential pandemics.
We don’t have to repeat what we have endured these past few years. We can choose compassion and not hatred. We can embrace charity for all and not selfishness.
Our future lives, our civilization and our health for our planet depend upon it.
May it be so.