Prejudice is assuming all members of a group are the same. A negative prejudice about a group of humans is bigotry. For early humans, prejudice was a survival instinct. For example, if someone ate a poisonous fungus and died, others would avoid all funguses. They would miss out on delicious mushrooms, but the prejudice against them would save their lives. For most of human history, if people saw others who looked different from themselves and those they knew, it was strongly possible that those different people were coming to invade and take over the territory. But this is the twenty-first century and it’s time we got over bigotry. The Corona virus has shown us that everyone on our planet is connected and related. We are all one family. So, come on, people, now let’s come together and love one another right NOW.
Years ago I got in a discussion with an online group about the worst natural disaster. Strangely, everyone preferred the disasters they experienced themselves. People who lived where there are hurricanes said they knew when those were coming and could shelter from them. People who lived where there are tornadoes said those are rare and only hit a narrow area. People who lived where earthquakes happen said those only happen a few times in a century. Nobody in that group had experienced volcanic eruptions or tsunamis. Of course forest fires happen often, cover large areas, and you can’t shelter from them, but most of those are started by humans, or equipment humans invented. Now we’re experiencing a different disaster, the Covid epidemic. It’s happening everywhere, but we’re trying to shelter from it, and hope it never happens again.
One (maybe the only) advantage to the Corona virus epidemic is it has provided something other that presidential election politics to talk about. But politics are everywhere. One definition of the word, politics, is “a conflict between people or groups trying to achieve power.” I know some people who have stopped attending any church because of bad experiences with church politics. But nobody is likely to say they’ll never set foot in any office again because they’ve experienced office politics. And even how to deal with the virus has become a matter of politics. Do people wanting to reopen everything or people wanting to remain cautious have the most power? What about those who think we should keep wearing masks vs those who don’t? Any time more than two people are together politics happen. But, guess what! There’s a solution! We can be polite to each other and agree to disagree, while respecting each other’s point of view. Someone who chooses not to wear a mask can avoid getting close to people who do wear them. We can vote for different candidates without being nasty about it. As old song says, “Come on people, now let’s get together and love one another right now.”
Years ago some people talked about trickle down economy, meaning if the big businesses got more money some of that would trickle down to help everyone else. With the current economic problems and talk about government help to big corporations we’re dealing with the same concept. Here’s an idea for an experiment to see if that would work. From now on, only take showers, no tub baths. Every time you bathe, put lots of soap on your hair, face, neck and shoulders, and scrub those places, but don’t put any soap or touch anywhere else on your body. And only aim the water at your head, neck, and shoulders. Some might trickle down below. Do the same thing every time you bathe for four years. Would all of your body stay healthy? I don’t think so.
I have many shelves full of books by authors I’ve met, mostly at writers conferences. I bought Waiting For God because it was written by Xochitl Dixon, who I’ve met and admire. Little did I know how helpful this book would be at this time in history. It’s a month long devotional with the subtitle, Trusting God’s Plan and Pace. What could be more appropriate as we deal with the corona virus and the impact it’s having on our world? The book shares stories of people dealing with various problems with God’s help and it’s very inspiring. I encourage anyone who could use some encouragement and inspiration to get a copy.
I was a Girl Scout when I was a kid (back in ancient history) and we were supposed to do one good deed every day. In spite of all the bad news and scary reports during this pandemic, it seems to me lots of people are doing good deeds lately. Teachers are spending hours teaching classes online. Some people are making masks and giving them to others who need them for free. Staff and personnel who work in hospitals and other medical places are working much harder than usual and risking their own health to do so, and their families are getting by at home without them. Other people are offering to shop for neighbors and some are publishing helpful information on the internet. There are lots of bad things going on, but we have a lot to be grateful for.
My name is Janet Ann Collins and I’m an internet addict with no intention of getting into recovery.. If you had asked me forty or even thirty years ago if I could do without the internet I’d have thought you were crazy. But I was unable to get online for about four days, and still can’t access any of my e-mail accounts. I’m amazed at how hard it is to get by without these tech things. Maybe in another twenty years instead of computers and cellphones we’ll all have brain transplants. Then some evil world government will take over and control us all. Okay, I guess my writerly imagination is getting a bit too active. Maybe I’ll go read a book.
I’ve been thinking about the differences between the Spanish Influenza epidemic and ours. A lot of things have changed in the last hundred years. Back then my father was sent to live with his grandparents in the Appalachian mountains since people were less likely to get sick where there were fewer people. While there, he attended the one room schoolhouse where his aunt was the teacher. Since she didn’t go to school yet, his little sister just stayed home. Back then telephones existed, though you had to ask an operator to connect you with the person you were calling. And radios existed but I don’t think they could get broadcasts from far away. They used what we call snail-mail to communicate with people who lived far away and it took days, or even longer, for letters to reach those they were sent to. With the internet, cellphones, and other modern technology we are able to communicate with people all over the world in a matter of minutes. Those who had to stay home back then probably read books, as I do today. But they didn’t have Facebook, Zoom, cellphones, and all the other things we use to stay connected with other people. Of course germs didn’t spread as fast and far without modern transportation. But if we have to live through an epidemic, I’d rather be doing it now than then.
We’re all worried about the economy, for obvious reasons. But I’ve often said it’s strange that money is so important. You can’t eat it. You can’t wear it. You can’t drive it. You can’t build furniture or houses out of it. I suppose you could burn paper money to cook with, but it wouldn’t last very long. Money only has value because everybody agrees that it has. And it may be the only thing everybody on our planet agrees about. At least we all do agree about one thing.
Before Earth Day became a national holiday it was originally celebrated in Berkeley, CA in the late 1960s. I worked there at California School for the Deaf and we were having a terrible problem with the kids getting head lice. None of us had even heard of head lice before because they didn’t exist in our area. We tried everything we could think of, but the lice kept spreading more and more. (Now I realize that was because the children’s combs and brushes in each dormitory were all washed in the same tub of water.) Finally one of the staff members went down to the Public Health Department and brought back a powdered substance they suggested we use. Sure enough, it worked. But I’ll never forget that we spent the first Earth Day putting DDT on all the children’s heads.