Like every other normal person on the planet, I am saddened and concerned by the current state of affairs. Also, like many others out there, I search for that silver lining. It has been my hope that one of the things people would learn from this crisis is to look more at themselves and how they can become better, and less to how they can criticize others for what’s wrong in the world. While I am sure there are many out there who are trying to do that, it is clear from what I see in the press and in social media that this is not happening on a large enough scale.
I will do my best to make my point without being overly political. However, since most of the bickering and finger pointing is indeed rooted in political affiliation, it will be very difficult to make this point without going back to the source. Sadly, it is clear that even in the most serious crisis that America has faced since WWII, a significant amount of people still put partisanship over country. In tense times like these, politicians who need to work together but have different styles and philosophies are inevitably going to bang heads to some degree, but if you look to the back and forth between President Donald Trump and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, you will see that it is possible to do so without either looking liking a petulant child. Yet some are so hell bent on turning this into a juvenile pissing match that they even try to coax the 2 of them on, trying to lead them towards personal insults. To their credit, it has not worked.
Other than taking the critical action of staying home, not everyone is in a position to help during this crisis. But almost anyone can make it worse. If you get on social media and your contribution is to hurl insults in the direction of people that think differently than you do, then not only are you not helping, you are hurting. Why? Because if even one person is polluted by your focus on anger and bitterness over hope and personal development, you’ve contributed towards a societal deterioration we just can’t afford ever, least of all now. It is human nature to lash out when you are frustrated or scared. I get it. I do it too. But times like these require a little extra self-control, a little extra focus on the all so important final outcome. This should not be a time to yell because you need someone to blame, this should be about racking your brain to try to find a way to make at least one person’s life better. If you can’t do that, then at least work on making yourself a better person.
Next time you decide to spend your time insulting other people, whether it be politicians or the average citizen, take a moment to think about whether or not you are helping anyone by doing so. Ask yourself if you want this to be your contribution to society during a time when society faces one of its greatest challenges ever.
And lastly, the time to litigate the performance of your leaders is not while they are working on saving lives. I live in a hotspot for the Coronavirus. I live in a county in New York State that currently has more cases than every other state, not county, every other state in the country other than New Jersey. I make this point because my Governor is Andrew Cuomo, and my President is Donald Trump. Two very different people and certainly two very different politicians. But as an American and as a New Yorker, living through times that are life and death situations, my responsibility is to listen to and support my leaders. Anything else is divisive, and divisiveness is a disease in itself that will not only not help save lives, it will take them.
So next time you look for people to yell at or blame, take a deep breath and try to make a different choice. Choose to contribute positively. Call a friend or family member and ask them how they’re doing. Make someone laugh or give someone encouragement. Instead of publicly berating someone for what you feel they do wrong, try and find a way do at least one more thing right. Rather than be like everyone else and showing how much you dislike someone for how they think, be a difference maker. Come up with thoughts or ideas that help make people feel better and be better. If you do that, ultimately you will not only do much more for the people you come in contact with, you will do more for yourself.
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