Gratitude and inequality in corona times

Everyday my family talks about the coronavirus.

We are fortunate. We have food and my job is the kind of job that lets me easily work from home. Some people are working in hospitals treating people who are sick. Some people are losing their jobs.

We are fortunate. We have a yard with baseball rebounders and hockey nets. We can walk to fields and play in the sun and stay safe and separate, greeting neighbors from distances more than six feet. Some people are stuck inside more than we are.

We are fortunate. We have the resources to weather this challenge and find little joys every day. A few Instagram worthy meals. A yard needing the satisfying work of spring cleanup. Snowdrops and crocuses pushing their way up reminding us of renewal.

The pain of this crisis falls disproportionately on our most vulnerable citizens. Nationwide hourly workers are losing their jobs and they likely have no cushion.

Single parents have an unimaginable workload as they try to balance parenting, educating their children, paying bills when the outlook is uncertain.

Parents of children with special needs fine their safety net ripped to shreds as providers are no longer able to support them all the while their children have fear and need more.

Elderly and people with significant health issues must self isolate to avoid serous complications and death. They count on all of us to reduce the exposure and transmission.

Last week, our society was reshaped by coronavirus. Planning and preparing for our new reality was time consuming. Anxiety was high. Gratitude was important first step. My gratitude highlighted inequalities that are important to work to address.

This week, I will work on addressing the inequities. There are representatives and senators to call. There are nonprofits to donate to. There are isolated friends to reach out to.

Be well. We can weather this if we keep our hearts connected while our bodies stay separate

Imagine

With a little imagination, we can do anything.

No more spoon fed ideas!

Puréed politics is as unpalatable as over-cooked carrots spun through the food processor.

Talking heads in 1950s suits telling us what to think is so retro (and not in a good way like that mid-century modern you’ve been eying).

If your words are sharp, short and fire rapidly, think for a moment: have you heard this before, in exactly this way. If you have you know you have been memified.

Let everyone know, our brains are not empty waiting to be filled with their memes that crowd out original thought. Imagination needs the space that the memes take up. So throw them away like moldy cheese.

We have been playing it too safe. Think of your worst ideas.

The worse the better.

For brilliance rises not in the safety of acceptable ideas that carry no risk. Brilliance bursts into life from outrageous ill conceived unconventional thoughtS.

Failed ideas are the food of the precious few.

You cannot fail if you open a void

and imagine.

Resisting the propaganda machine.

Propaganda is pervasive and we are more easily influenced than we would like to admit. Information is flowing so quickly we are drawn to shortcuts to make sense of the world around us. Simplification of complex ideas to a single emotional meme works like a virus. Right, left or center, no one is immune.

Some signs that infectious content has hijacked your brain:

  • You believe you completely understand the issue with little research.
  • You are emotionally attached to purity of your perspective. Other perspectives are seen as a threat.
  • You find you are unable to sustain a meaningful exploration of an idea without resorting to prepackaged words and slogans.
  • You reject nuanced discussion.

What we can do:

  • Really talk to people we disagree with.
  • Fact check.
  • Use of own voice and our words to describe our perspective. Avoid the slogans that come easily.
  • When things get nasty, exit with strength and dignity.
  • Learn to recognize propaganda
  • Find out more about propaganda theory.

Here’s a few articles about propaganda that I enjoyed.

On our drive to be influenced.

On our need to simplify in an age of information overload.

photo credit: “Nixon is the One” from examples of propaganda by Caitlyn Jordan. An artful collection of propaganda posters.

Inspired by the daily post. <a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/theory/”>Theory</a&gt;