Dammit, we have to DO something!
In every single one of these cases, it’s not just that most of these practices are accepted as “standard.” It’s that they are a way to punish people, to make lives more difficult, or to make sure that money keeps flowing upward. Up until now activists and customers have been meant to believe that the powers that be could never change these policies—it would be too expensive, or too unwieldy, or would simply upset the way things are done. But now, faced suddenly with an environment in which we’re all supposed to at least appear to be focused on the common good, the rule-makers have decided it’s OK to suspend them. It’s a crisis, after all. Everyone’s got to do their part.Read the article. I'm serious; just read it. I remember in the '60's when things got done (civil rights, voting rights, Medicare, federal support for education, highway beautification, PBS, space exploration) they got done because there was a sense "the whole world is watching!" and something had to give.
Now? Since, but continuing to now? "But now, faced suddenly with an environment in which we’re all supposed to at least appear to be focused on the common good, the rule-makers have decided it’s OK to suspend them. It’s a crisis, after all. Everyone’s got to do their part." Now it takes a crisis again to get us to even pay attention. If we do, that is.
Whose side are you on?
So what will happen when the crisis passes? Yes, it’s worth asking yourself now, in the early days of this pandemic, how you might change your behavior, what temporary adjustments in your lifestyle you might adopt permanently in the after times—whether that’s working from home, or cutting back on airplane travel. But it’s also worth asking if we are willing to allow governments and corporations to return to business as usual. When everything’s back to normal, will we accept cities cutting off their poorest residents’ water, or evicting the sick, or throwing someone in jail because they can’t afford to pay a fine?
Short answer: ask the people who remember the 1960's. Ask the Boomers. Never let them forget they wanted to change the world, and then they let it change back. We asked all those questions, and more. Then we got tired of the questions and grew less interested in the answers and just sort of wandered away. Because changing the world for the better takes relentless effort. And the effort the world tells us to put forward is the effort of relentless self-interest. You can't change the world if you're only concerned with yourself. Boomers had their shot; learn from their example what to do, and what not to do. Woke? Boomers invented "woke."
How many people now are crowding the stores to get theirs before it's all gone? How many people are paying attention to all the rules that suddenly don't have to be rules because it's a "crisis"? What is the sense of rules that only apply when they are convenient for some, which can be lifted without cost because the cost is no borne by the people imposing them, and never was? Why do we bear such costs as if they were the natural order of the universe? Start with the threats that are easily withdrawn, the arbitrary rules that suddenly are obstructive; move on to the threats that seem embedded in stone, carved into immutable law. But laws change, and stones are broken, and change is the one constant of the universe. Change this: not your politics, but your heart; not your concerns, but who you are concerned for. Change the rules by discarding the rulebook; by making the law serve people, instead of people serving the law.
If this is gonna chance everything, let’s make sure it does.