Y’all, what are we doing?

We’re in a global pandemic with CVOID-19, which is incredibly serious, but at the same time it feels like a “test” for something bigger looming in the distance of 20, 30, or 50 years. As our climate grows increasingly warmer and permafrost melts, we may have other epidemics with higher fatality rates thrust upon us. And here we are struggling to value life over commerce.

Why?

I value my faith, and I look for it to help me decode tense situations. Right now, the hidden God-code seems to be saying, “Interesting that a global pandemic would occur in unison with your presidential election season. Even more interesting that healthcare is a key issue, too. Hmmm… I wonder what this could mean?” *wink, wink, nod, nod, cough, elbow*

The US has consistently maintained this southern plantation + Horatio Alger + Puritan mindset that has conditioned us to never stop working, never give up, just try harder, and whenever we’re feeling down to just work harder. We’re basically Boxer from Orwell’s Animal Farm because all we do is declare, “I will work harder” in response to every problem we face while not realizing the power we possess.

Boxer worked himself broken, way past his prime years, and as a result died after being told he was going to receive expert medical care. He was slaughtered for profit to keep the machine going.

And right now, some of you are angry that I am speaking bad about “hard work” as you are slowly being slaughter by the grind of our societal machine.

Stop it.

Seriously, stop, breathe, and think for a moment. Work hard, work smart, and live your life—go for it. Let’s also create a way forward for the next generation, and the generation after. Flatten the COVID-19 curve and help protect those at-risk within our population. Recognize our unified strength as a collection of workers and demand a real work-life balance.

Let’s value life over commerce.

Japan’s government shut down schools and decided to pay a temporary universal income of $80 per day to each adult.

Italy has suspended mortgage payments.

Germany (at the time of me writing this) has 1,908 confirmed COVID-19 cases and only 3 deaths.

We have 1,281 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 36 deaths, a shortage of test kits, a president who just said he was unaware that people died of the flu, and cultural values that will help further spread this disease at an alarming rate.

We don’t have to live like this. We could vote for politicians who support policies enabling families to have more than one or two kids. We could make sure the physical and mental health of everyone in our country is understood to be a basic human right and fully funded with increased access. We could—hear me out—extend our current free public education to include *gasp* college.

How else do we think our civilization will solve big problems and live longer, healthier lives? How will we be become more efficient consumers, evidence-based thinkers, and pragmatic policy-makers who are empathetic to the plights of everyday folks? How will we value the necessities of life?

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Posted by Wesley Jackson Wade

Wes is a licensed and certified counselor serving clients in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and career development. He is a SAMHSA and NBCC Addictions Fellow, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Policy, & Human Development with a concentration in Counseling & Counselor Education. #EmpathyEvangelist #ComicNerd #HipHopHead #LoverOfBoardGames. Peace. Love. Power.

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