Monday, May 25, 2020

John Pavlovitz on how to grieve

Just in case someone hasn’t yet read it. From John Pavlovitz, “How Do You Grieve 100,000 Lives?“:

You wear a mask at the damn grocery store and you wash your hands and you keep your distance and you show kindness to cashiers — and you follow the simple rules put in place to keep people healthy and alive because that’s what decent human beings do.
What the news has been showing this weekend — people shoulder to shoulder, no masks, on beaches and at parties — is what happens when freedom is reduced to freedom from responsibility. I’ll invoke Julius Lester’s words, which could have been written about those crowds:
They persist in believing that freedom from restraint and responsibility represents paradise. The eternal paradox is that this is a mockery of freedom, a void. We express the deepest caring for this world and ourselves only by taking responsibility for ourselves and whatever portion of this world we make ours.

comments: 4

Anonymous said...

Yet many in VA do not see it that way: "Who are they to tell us what to do --we are Americans. You don't tell Americans what to do"--thoughts from a local newspaper.

And 12 young people in my courtyard having a cook-out with no masks and no social distancing! One of them made a big deal of telling me "hello"--I guess so that i wouldn't complain to management about their behaviour.


Michael Leddy said...

“You don’t tell Americans what to do”: I guess the corollary is that you can’t expect Americans to do the right thing either.

Sean Crawford said...

I thought you were going to quote Edith Hamilton, from back in the days when the armies fought without wages, without conscription, as volunteers. Just as they would voluntarily do the forum thing, and the voting thing.

Referring to the young men of Athens, she said, "When the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again."

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks for that. Now I wonder if Julius Lester might have had that passage in mind.