Real unselfishness consists of sharing the interests of others.
We are indeed living in uncharted territory. This social distancing during the time of the Coronavirus is not going to be easy but understandably, it is the best thing we can each do for each other, especially, if we are fortunate enough to be able to work from home. This is our social obligation and an absolute necessity if we are to help our heroic doctors, healthcare workers and all those individuals and teams involved in keeping so much of society functioning during these extremely challenging times. After all, these are the people who are protecting us, our families and our friends. And I am pleased that most of us are doing our very best to protect our protectors, too. By comparison to their ongoing work, social distancing really is a minor sacrifice.
I know that there are the disgusting, unheroic individuals who lick deodorant containers or intentionally spit and cough. Ugggh! Not worth wasting any words on them. I’d rather talk about the intrinsic potential in most of us to be caring and responsible. I read an article by Andy Rooney a while back and his reflections are certainly pertinent to the situation we find ourselves in today with the Coronavirus. It’s titled “In and of Ourselves We Trust.” He ponders on the fact that late the previous night, while he had been driving on an empty road, he stopped at a light turning red. “I looked left, right, and behind me. Nothing. Not a car, no suggestion of headlights, but there I sat, waiting for the light to change, the only human being for at least a mile in any direction.”
And today, we are all waiting for a green light, too. We are waiting to drive forth into better, safer times because we don’t want to harm others inadvertently. Wisely, we have undertaken social distancing. When will the situation be finally under control? We don’t know, but we hope it won’t be too long before first the yellow and then the green light begins to blink again. We have trusted ourselves to honor what is best for us all and we have trusted others to do the same because of having a social contract with one another, “sharing the interests of others”.
I will end with quoting Andy Rooney again: “I think I stopped because it’s part of a contract we all have with each other. It’s not only the law, but it’s an agreement we have, and we trust each other to honor it: We don’t go through red lights”. Indeed, we wait for the green light! And maybe, in the not too distant future, it will shine emerald…
Very best wishes,
A meaningful and caring message Ellen. Thank you. Your comments can inspire the best behavior and thoughts in each us.
I soak in your comments about waiting for the green. It may be a long wait, and that is ok. We all need to do our bit.
An artist friend sent me a copy of Edward Hopper’s painting, Chair Car painted in 1965 – all in shades of greens. His quote accompanying it states
“I don’t paint loneliness, I describe the absence of sociability between individuals”.
Thanks for posting this reminder, Ellen. We are indeed under contract with each other to do the right thing. Even though some few will always run the red lights, we find strength and hope when we help each other
Thank you Jill, Jennifer and Lisa. Indeed, we do “find strength and hope when we help each other.” Thank you Jennifer for sharing Hopper’s painting with all its shades of green as well as the pertinent quote.
Thank you Ellen, for posting “Coronavirus: waiting for the green light.”
Yes, we are indeed helping our brave medical team of doctors and caretakers to do their job better by not creating more illness. As difficult as it can be for many to socially isolate, perhaps it will teach us even more directly what’s really important in life, and how we should never take for granted that we’re still alive! Also, I think we will come to appreciate as a human race our interdependence and how we can work together. Despite the hardships and suffering, this opportunity for growth and learning is truly something we can appreciate!