“The moment we stop fighting for each other, that’s the moment we lose our humanity.” – Dr. Adrian Helmsly
If you know that quote, I am dang impressed and will bow down to your movie knowledge. For the rest of us, this was the scene in the fairly terrible, yet, fairly fun end of the world movie, 2012, where the scientist, Dr. Adrian Helmsly gives a very passionate plea to the world leaders, that they open the doors to their “ark” to allows hundreds of people on board as their ark was damaged. They, of course, did and while the world was in chaos, humanity was preserved.
I was watching this as I was running on the treadmill about fell off as the quote come out of his mouth. I finished my run, then ran upstairs, grabbed my notebook, and got the quote written down. I found it was perfect for what we are dealing with right now in our world with Covid-19.
How do we do this? How do we keep fighting? Watch the news. Those nurses and doctors who are dealing with the virus on a daily basis? They are the ones who are fighting for our humanity. Those workers who are “essential”, those who work in the gas stations, in the packing plants, helping pass out food in the food lines, who are in the grocery stores, the Wal-Marts, the Targets, all those places where they could be exposed? They are the ones fighting for our humanity. The truck drivers keeping food in grocery stores? Fighting. The restaurant owners? Fighting. The pub owners? Fighting. Each one of these groups, every person who steps out to their home to do the right thing, these are the heroes among us.
Our heroes are getting crapped on left and right. Small business owners can’t get funds from the government because larger businesses with an army of lawyers got the money first. Health care workers are being mocked and worse by an army of “reopen the country” fools, hellbent on reopening our country before we are ready. Those in meatpacking plants are being forced back to work by our president, hellbent on doing I don’t even know what anymore. The governor of our great state is forcing the issue by reopening 77 of the 99 counties even as cases spike and Iowa’s infection rate grows.
I’ve seen tons of quotes about “new normals” and “making new lives”, but by opening too early, what value are we placing on human life? Is this the humanity we want to be fighting for? That the life of a meatpacker isn’t worth as much as politicians (Iowa’s legislature is coming back May 15th, 15 days LATER than the state’s reopening date)? This is the most frustrating part for me, that people are rushing back because they “want to go camping” or “I can’t wait to get on the course” yet, cannot have empathy for those who are truly in need.
Then, we have the teacher stuff. I came across this tweet as I was a scrollin’ along:
I apologize for the picture. I am no longer a technology guru as time seems to have passed me by. I am becoming my father, and cannot wait for my daughters, their husbands, and my grandkids to laugh and say “CLICK AND DRAG”, but I digress.
The last line says this:
There is a zero tolerance policy for submitting HW the day after it is due. We are now used to the new reality. So, let’s fall in line. 🙂
The smiley face at the end makes it all better, don’t you suppose?
This is the reality we are trying to escape! Now, I won’t bash this teacher, because I don’t know the story behind their assignment or policies. Administrators across the country have been all over the place in their desire to show power. This teacher may just be doing what they were told to do.
At what cost to their students and their humanity? Where is the balance we want students to achieve? Do we want them to think less of school because suddenly they need to “fall in line”. I shared this with my wife, and she made the comment about how dictators say things like this to their followers. This woman is much smarter than I am, so when she said that, one word came into my head:
However, is the fight worth it? Long answer short, yes. We watch daily as people right to the challenge of preserving the humanity that we’ve longed for, a world full of hope and care, compassion and joy. From the parades around town for birthdays to the care package dropped off to the tennis players hitting between buildings to John Krasinski’s Some Good News YouTube channel to musicians playing Facebook Live or streaming concerts (I’m looking at you DropKick Murpheys and Gaelic Storm), people are showing that humanity is worth the work.
This blog has gotten rambly because there’s just so much to write about dealing with one quote from an obscure “the world is coming to an end” movie. Yet, if we can take that ONE piece, plant it, and help it grow, coming out of our own “end of the world moment, I believe we can be in a better place, a more caring, empathic, and joyous place than when this started.
#BUT (another big but)
It will take all of to stand up and say “I don’t want your old normal!” If we simply buy back into the I need to camp, shop, and party, we’ve lost a golden opportunity to make this better, to regain a piece of humanity that’s been lost for many, many years.
I, for one, want better.