Scranton Column: How long until something weird becomes normal?
How long before something that seems weird becomes normal?
I think we are all experiencing that reality right now as state Governors are exercising wildly different reopening strategies. It is going to be an unsettling problem in the Fall when states are going to have to determine just how far they are going to go to ward off any virus by shuttering schools and keeping people socially distant.
There have been too many stories and accounts of the unintended consequences of mandating complete and total safety before allowing people to live a normal life. If we are to continue down this road, it will surely put a damper on just about everything that we thought was fun.
No more blowing out the candles on a birthday cake? Shaking hands? Giving others a hug? Meeting in big groups? People are being told that these are things that we will have to forego if we want to be safe.
I don’t know a single person who just wants to live their life without any regard for those around them. I know they are out there and some of them used to be in jail, but now we are arresting people for trying to meet, or not wearing a mask, or not practicing social distancing.
Surely, this would be considered an unintended consequence of trying to make sure that we are safe.
Safety has taken on a new meaning these days and really means that at no point is there ever any excuse for anything going wrong in our lives – and if it does – someone must surely be to blame.
This mentality goes against the concept of free will and people living in a society that values freedom. Years ago, accidents became a thing of the past because there is no such thing anymore because someone is always at fault no matter the circumstances.
We have become an accident-free culture because we no longer accidentally trip and fall because somebody somewhere is negligent.
We don’t fail anymore, because if we don’t succeed at what we think we are really good at, it must be because someone or something failed us. Famous sayings like: “It’s not how hard you get knocked down, it’s how hard you fight to get back up” aren’t applicable because we never get knocked down anymore so we don’t have to get up and keep on fighting, because if we fight for something, we will likely be accused of violating someone’s safety or personal well-being. If we just stay down we can get help and there are people who will rescue us from our fall.
I’m sure glad we are at least safe from the unintended consequences of our march to peace, harmony, and a fail-safe society.
Whoever said life isn’t fair is obviously unaware that our world has changed for the better!
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