Admit it. None of us, not even the radical bell ringers, knew we’d all be living like this. Not masking and hibernating, counting the daily dead. Not three months ago.
Yet, when the whole thing finally levels out and we attempt a return to “normalcy”, I have a prediction. I think there will be a major paradigm shift in the mentality of our entire society. I foresee entire groups of people who are inclined to turn their backs on information, who actually prefer a level of denial because it’s more comforting (because denial can be very comforting; we’ve all lived in denial once or twice and everyone knows what it feels like to choose it), those who have been openly defiant in dialogue with others and are now facing the gravity and the grim statistics of what is upon us might finally find themselves in a minority, as we move forward. And, I don’t mean because of mortality, God forbid; I mean that those who affect, even dominate, the social discourse might be among the very ones who were shunned or dismissed prior to this catastrophe. And, one of the positive outcomes might be a return to respect for the kind of authority that is based in fully informed mindset. Those who seek out information that is factual might finally become the ones to whom others refer for advice and counsel.
Naturally, some might say I’m being self-aggrandizing, hoping that people might finally listen to ME. But, the whole thing is SO much bigger than me – and, you. Nevertheless, I do predict a shift. Those who’ve been clamoring out loud, those in parts of the southern coast who are still beaching, malling, partying and pooling…….still people in this country who are turning their backs, while the Pentagon is busy ordering up 100,000 body bags in anticipation of the need to separate the dead from the living – a hard reality to face, but these will have to be fearless; and, the way to be fearless is to be prudent, and the way to be prudent is to become fully informed, even when the information you glean perhaps defies your politics, even your religious beliefs. The way we protect each other is by being prudent and caring about the kind of advice that is sound – based in measurable information. We really, really do need to care that much about one another and, in so doing, risk the derision and mockery which is often a result of such attempts to actually demonstrate care. We might learn to redefine what it means to love one another.
And, maybe that’s the point.
Maybe we’ll learn how to love each other effectively – openly, with trained skill in communication and a willingness to be receptive to anyone who provides this kind of care. I hope our prayer will be for everyone, including those who have laughed at and derided us. We have to pray for our enemies – not pray for their demise, but pray for their protection. Because it’s all about changing hearts. I was trained on fundamental Gospel preaching, trained to believe that hearts have to be changed – that people have to change from the inside out. And, I’m still laying hold of that. We really do have to change from the inside out.
Here’s to loving effectively and caring authentically. Be well; be safe; keep your ears open, and your eyes wide. If you face reality, head on, you might discover that you seek out only those who will tell you the verifiable truth.
© 5/3/2020 Ruth Ann Scanzillo.
2 thoughts on “A Newer Normal.”
You’re coming at it from the other end of where I’m at. I’m concerned people will become more hardened by it, so I hope you’re right & I’m wrong! Xx
OF, who can really say? My “prediction” seems logical but, then, when was humanity ever?
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