The coronavirus pandemic has brought up many questions concerning social responsibility versus individual freedom, but there is a clear answer to this dilemma.
Life as we know it has been turned upside down in a manner of weeks. Everything seems uncertain: jobs, retirement funds, everyday supplies – but all of that comes after our most important asset, which is our health.
On this subject there seems to be two opposing camps: those who who believe we should all quarantine and those who don’t.
Of course, there are some exceptions, but for the most part it seems that most people who choose not to do so are in the younger generation. Now, before you think I am over generalizing all young people, believe me, I am not. I realize there are many conscious minded younger people out there doing their part to help the cause.
This article is about the other people, no matter what their age.
There are many people who are watching their financial security go right down the drain, but those don’t seem to be the ones who are out in public, living it up. It is difficult to see how partying and socializing could be more important than people dying, but that is how some people are prioritizing things.
This is especially important when health care workers and other community workers are putting their lives at risk every single day while others flippantly dismiss everything that is going on.
For some reason those of the younger generation seem to feel they have no civic or social responsibility for their family, their community, their country, or the world. America is definitely a society that has been built on the chops of the individual, but we all hold a certain obligation to the people around us.
We should all remember that not so far down the line, we will be the older generation and will also be dependent on those around us to do the right thing during any future epidemics. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is a philosophy to live by, whether we are religious or not.
But some of the same people who volunteer at homeless shelters and give money for those suffering around the world are also refusing to quarantine during this time of stress and fear.
Not so long ago, younger people were expected to be full contributors to the fabric of our communities in every way. Even children were expected to contribute (think Victory Gardens during World War II), but as the decades have passed the age that individuals are expected to be socially responsible has risen. First, it was children, then teenagers, then twenty-somethings, and now it has risen to those in their thirties.
If we do not stop the slippage, soon no one will be expected to be accountable for their actions in the world at large. Where would that leave us when searching for the next generation of leaders?
Blame it on helicopter parenting, the rise of social media, the decline of organized religion, or anything you like, but the end result is the same. These young people have become victims themselves because they have not learned basic good will toward others. We must get back to love and compassion for our fellow man. If we all sacrifice a just a little for the greater good, then this world will be better for us all.
Remember, there are no bad people, just bad decisions. And those can always be changed.
Wishing everyone health and happiness!