Updated: Feb 5
People might think you’re crazy—or, at best, irresponsible—
to quit your job and start a business.
You will certainly be questioned by nosy others
if you have a family with four or more children.
A doctor might poo-poo
your concerns about a medical treatment
if you wonder whether or not a more natural alternative is available.
All of these possibilities feel awkward when you face them. They can make you uncomfortable with how you do life until you distance yourself from the source of discomfort—the scowling in-laws, the diffident fellow shopper, the presumptuous doctor.
But what if you can’t get away?
Better than Best Isn't Good Enough?
Everyone shares the view that 2020 was a strange year. As it came to a close, memes all over the internet looked forward to getting it over with and wondered when “2020” would officially become a cussword.
What we do not all share in common is the belief that 2020 had to be a strange year. The Coronavirus, of course, was the hitch.
In the early weeks of 2020, worry about the virus may have been reasonable. When “expert” predictions in March estimated that 200 - 250,000 people in the United States would die by the middle of April even if we did everything we could to stop the spread of the disease (can you say, “lock-down"?), it was understandable that we should collectively do something. The same predictions said 2.5 million people would die during that period if we did nothing.
So it was reasonable to think we should act.
Now, though, it's clear the expert predictions were wrong by such an astronomical magnitude that any rational person might want to re-think the approach we took. Even if the current body count from COVID-19 is accurate (which is doubtful, but suppose it is, for sake of argument), it still took more than six months to reach the best-case scenario death toll.
That means we lived through a best-case scenario that was six times better than the one predicted. Meanwhile, we undermined the economic well-being of a large swath of our population and contributed to death and misery from other causes that have gone largely ignored.
Changing the Story
We also stopped talking about deaths from Coronavirus (perhaps because there weren’t enough to warrant the extraordinary measures to prevent it) and started wringing our hands over “cases.” But people get sick every day from something, and most don’t die—just like those who get sick specifically from COVID 19 usually don't die.
So, why am I spending one of my Different blog posts
talking about the 2020-21 pandemic?
Because of disturbing words concern over the virus slipped into our vocabulary: “Re-set” and it's corollary term, "new normal."
Re-set comes in the guise of protecting us from a “deadly” virus that only kills at most 0.1 percent of those infected by it—except for the greatest at-risk group of elderly, a readily identifiable segment of the population which can be protected without destroying the rest of life as we know it.
The new normal stands to alter much about how we're allowed to live, which means that doing life Different will get harder.
Maybe even dangerous.
A Not-So-Free Society
When the government convinces enough people that there’s only one way to do life—wear a mask, keep your distance, take a vaccine—and that anyone who doesn’t do those things is the enemy, living differently will no longer be just awkward when you confront people who don't see life the same way you do. It will become downright scary.
The freedom to do life on your own terms has always been part of American culture. It's been safe to assume that people who do life along the lines I suggest can choose to do if them if they want to. But that simple choosing is in danger of being taken away.
You might think this is just because COVID 19 has forced us into a “national emergency,'" but governmental power obtained for any purpose is virtually never relinquished. Rather, the exercising of power for one reason becomes a precedent for exercising power for other reasons.
And when people get used to others having power over them,
it gets easier for the power-havers to have more.
To be sure, doing life differently than the norm has always been a challenge. Social and financial pressures, in particular, have mitigated against doing things that are notably different than typical ways of living.
But now, your freedom to choose Different is at stake—no matter what excuse du jour you’re hearing from the people “in charge.” Now’s the time to not go along—before it gets truly dangerous.
Enough Different-doers together can stem the tide of re-set. But we need to get on the stick.
Find small ways to flex your "rebel" muscles. You may need them to be in top shape later.
*Photo: Peter H from Pixabay.
Check out your freedom-
loving muscles by taking
the Sheeple Test in this post: "Build Your Herd Immunity"
(To get weekly ideas and action steps for doing Different, subscribe to this blog—
and get a free copy of my e-book, Better than Perfect.)
©2021 Greg Webster. All rights reserved.