Thursday, October 7, 2021

What can we do?

I hear many people complaining about having to wear a mask and having to social distance. They even complain about receiving an injection containing protection from the plague. But imagine being sent to war. Imagine being exiled from your country. These were realities for many people in my time and the years since. 

Some ancients saw such events as an opportunity to do good. For example, Musonius was exiled to the island of Gyara. Rather than complain about the loss of his comfortable life style, he chose to help the locals. He discovered a new water supply which improved the lives of all in the village.

What can we learn from this? Perhaps only that we too have a choice. We can focus on our individual inconvenience and complain, or we can take the opportunity to do something for the greater good. Because wearing masks, social distancing, and taking vaccinations can help reduce the risk the virus poses to people - which we want to do - we should stoically accept the small inconvenience and get on with life.

I am reminded of the wisdom of one of your recent leaders. J.F. Kennedy (1961) said "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country". A simple statement that deserves some consideration.

- Socrates