What it May Take for Social Distancing to Finally End

Here is an article that looks at the “moonshot effort” needed to end social distancing and this pandemic. 

Those of you who think our leaders are doing a good job with handling the pandemic so far, please keep in mind that the real effects of the epidemic have not yet hit most parts of this country. The projections do not look pretty. By most accounts, we did way too little way too late, which is why social distancing is necessary at this stage. 

Will our leaders be able to learn from their mistakes and do enough to get us out of this sooner than later? To use the “hope and reality” statement that Deborah illuded to in her video yesterday, I HOPE they will, but REALITY shows me little reason to think that they will.

The above is not meant to be a partisan statement. And it’s not our leader’s fault. Our system is set up, so the person who knows how to get elected becomes a ‘leader.’ But the skillset needed to get elected, and the one required for leadership is different. Now, some people may have both, but I think probably more often than not, we get someone who can win a popularity contest, not someone who is good at leading. In my view, we need to set up a political system where the people elected to office are people who can lead. Unfortunately, currently, I think we have lots of people who know how to get elected, but who are not leaders. I sense our leaders react to problems instead of foreseeing issues and helping to lead us away from them. 

Most of you reading this live in the US, so let me address the idea of the ‘rugged individualist’ and anti-government fervor that is popular in this country. In the modern world, the ‘rugged individualist’ who does not need the government is simply a pipe dream. Without the government, society as we know it would completely cease. It is also only the federal government that has the power and authority to react to a global pandemic like this one. Like it or not, the government is essential for certain things, and dealing with a health crisis like this one is one of those things. 

I’m all for minimizing government involvement in our lives where possible. Still, I am also for a functioning forward-looking government that can respond to a health crisis like this one instead of reacting to it. Our general distrust and distaste for the government may have resulted in us more or less, creating an ineffectual and divided government. One that cannot efficiently deal with a crisis like the one we have now until it is too late, looking backward and reacting to situations, waiting for popular opinion to change before doing anything. Again, this is not leadership. 

Plato said a long time ago that the people who really should be leading would never run after positions of power, and so must be forced to lead. He called them Philosopher Kings. I call them enlightened beings. Would enlightened beings create a perfect society if forced to lead? I say no because I don’t believe in perfection, but in perfecting. I do think by many measures it would be a lot “better” than the one we have now with a lot less needless suffering. 

If you are upset about anything that I said here, just remember, they are just the thoughts and opinions of a yoga teacher. What do I know? As far as I am concerned, I am with Socrates. Ultimately, I know that I know nothing. Instead of focusing on what upset you, I would encourage you to look at why you react so strongly to what was said. When its all said and done, we would not like to give others the power to upset us with their words and opinions. That is the only way we can have lasting peace. 

May spirit be victorious!

-Douglas Johnson E-RYT 500, YACEP

Sounds of Summer - A Yoga Retreat

July 19th-21st