We not Me

I thought I was invincible when I was younger.  A few broken arms, almost dying in a car accident, big waves and almost dying from gallbladder disease was apparently not enough to teach me this lesson.  A few bike accidents with cracked helmets, one without and a week with a severe concussion wasn’t enough either.  Nor was the violence threatened to me with guns three times.  

Nope, what got me to understand mortality and my lack of immortality was an autoimmune disease.  If I don’t take my meds daily, I will die.  So what do I do?  I take my meds everyday and life goes on.

I am glad that I have lived a life that has produced some scars and left some blood along the way especially knowing that all of it was mine.  

I am an American and have questioned the label for quite some time and more so since March.  Coronavirus, it’s a problem.  Will it kill people?  Yes.  Will it kill many people?  Yes.  Is it an awful death for those who die?  Yes.  Yet it seems like others are putting more value on their lives than they do others.  I don’t understand this.

I understand riding a motorcycle fast without a helmet.  If I crash, I will probably only kill myself.  I understand the draw to extreme sports and the risks involved like climbing without rope and surfing monsters.  If you die, you probably only kill yourself.  

I also understand why there are some safety measures out there to prevent preventable deaths:  seatbelts, anti lock brakes, gates, signs, condoms, one push emergency devices, insulin, speed limits, safeties on guns, fire alarms and firemen.

What I don’t understand is why some need laws governing the right thing to do?  I don’t need anyone to tell me to put my phone on airplane mode in a movie theater or to talk quietly when I am in public around others.  I don’t need anyone to tell me to wear clothes when shopping or to not speed in a school zone.  I would do these things no matter what yet here we are and we have laws to govern and prevent those actions.

2020 has been a hard year for the world but it’s been especially hard for America and it should almost be the opposite.  The first word of the Constitution should lead us at this time.  It is We not Me yet again, here we are arguing for Me instead of We.  I can assure you that no good comes of this for many people whether it is sickness, death, bankruptcy, mourning, or change in social structure.  So why are there so many ‘Me’s instead of ‘We’s.

The root cause in my opinion is that many people define themselves in the opposition of others.  If he goes right, I must go left.  This is what kids do.  

Mom:  Kids, would you like pizza or pasta for dinner?

Kid 1:  Pasta

Kid 2:  Pizza

Mom:  Can”t we compromise?

Kids:  No

That’s fine and dandy but it’s no way to make decisions as an adult.  What separates us from animals is our ability to use reason.  The fact that we seem to be moving away from it suggests devolution.  That is a potential problem.

Science:  You should all wear masks and social distance to prevent COV transmission

Left:  Okay

Right:  No

Science:  Why do you want to wear a mask?

Left:  I don’t want to do harm to others and I don’t want to get sick

Science:  Why don’t you want to wear a mask Right?

Right:  Masks infringe my freedom and its uncomfortable

Left:  But you may transmit an infectious disease that kills another person

Right:  So. People die plus we need to reopen the economy

Left:  I don’t want to die

Right:  Who cares. You are just lazy and whiny and being a wimp

Left:  You are going against science and logic

Right:  Science and logic is wrong

Left:  But you could kill someone

Right:  Fine

That’s the debate in a nutshell.  Add some fancy words and there seems to be more depth but there is not.

One law that seems silly to me from a governmental perspective is suicide being illegal.  You do with your life what you will.  However, I think those that take lives should be held accountable for their actions.  We call this murder and it should still be ilegal.

Murder is a weird action and there are 1000s of books, films  and TV shows that descibe every possible way to kill another human being.  It is a law or rule that up and till now was rarely debated.  Not whether someone was innocent or guilty but if murder should be allowed.

In the 1980s a new virus was discovered, HIV.  Along with the discovery came legislation to help curb its transmission.  For example, if an HIV+ person has unprotected sex with a partner without diclosing this information and it becomes known to the partner, the HIV+ person can be charged with intent to kill.  Why?  Because in the 80s HIV was a death sentence.

Back to murder.  Simple example is shooting a person.  That’s easy.   What about a DUI death?  Is that murder?  Yeah, it was a preventable death at the hand of someone else.  What about locking someone in their basement and coming back in a month?  They will die of dehydration and starvation, not by your hands.  Is that still murder?  Of course it is.

If I refuse to wear a mask, social distance and apply prudence to my decision, if I transmit the virus to someone and they die, am I responsible?  Example, the teacher goes to Starbucks on the way to school and picks up COV along the way.  They get to work and transmit COV to their class.  Their class goes home and transmits COV to their family.  Ten people die including 2 students.  Contact tracing is done.  The teacher was the carrier.  Who is responsible?

We not Me is the simplest was to state the Golden Rule or Categorical Imperative.  I don’t want harm done to me so I won’t do harm to others.  There is no grey area when it comes to masks, social distancing and prudence.  Sure, in time, we will have to get back to it but that should be when we are ready, not because a few spoiled whiny wimpy brats want to.  They should learn to grow up.  Mortality is real.  Most of us want to spend it doing what and with those we love.  If you don’t, that’s fine but don’t push it on others.  That’s Me not We thinking and its unkind.


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