Some quotations are ingrained in our collective psyche. One of these is Patrick Henry's declaration that inspired our nation to fight for independence: "Give me liberty or give me death!" Another more recent statement expresses a different sentiment: "When you have your health you have everything. If you don't have your health nothing else matters."
These are two examples of what we're hearing today among Americans who are trying to find normalcy in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Some seem to be willing to sacrifice normal lives -- the American way -- in order to protect their health. Others seem to be willing to risk their health in order to live normal lives. Many see these as diametrically opposed -- as enmity against each other.
I see it differently. Each mindset reflects specific values. Values are beliefs about what is important. It's not that each group has opposing values (Who doesn't value health? Who doesn't value freedom?). It's more so that each group is prioritizing one value over another.
We all do that.
In fact, our values may change depending on our circumstances. A person in poor health probably values health more than a healthy person does. A person living under a dictatorship probably values freedom more than someone who lives in a democracy. We tend to take for granted what we have and value more what we don't have. A healthy person does value health, and a free person does value freedom -- but perhaps these values are not as high on the list.
Here's my point: although people place different priorities on one value or another, we're all in this together. Almost everyone is feeling the effects of this pandemic. Everyone is coping with it the best way they know how -- and doing so in a way consistent with their values. The best way to get through this is to do it in a way that we can live with each other once the pandemic is over. We are still the Unites States, after all.
We at Levi Transitions are here if you need us, 501-622-3580.
Tabloids on 05/26/2020
Print Headline: We're all in this together