March 29, 2020

Our society is so addictively adrenaline driven that personally and politically we tend to be guided more by reaction than by reflection. This global pause is forcing us to take the time to reflect, to think things through, and hopefully gain some wisdom. Covid-19 is a threat, but no more than our collective behavior in several other areas too. This might actually be saving us, motivating us to look at the ways we’re just as unprepared for other kinds of disasters. Our greatest power to change the world is our power to rethink it. This virus is shaking America to the core, and we need to be shaken to the core. I think our only hope is that we be shaken to the core. This is painful, and tragic, but it’s revealing things that need to be revealed. Do you think we’re not just as close to the edge with nuclear weapons? Nuclear power in general? Do you think we’re not just as close to the edge in terms of environmental disasters? Are you still, even now, under the illusion that there are all these really responsible people in Washington doing everything necessary to make sure we’re safe, so we don’t have to worry about other catastrophic possibilities? Not if you’re really thinking, you don’t. There are a lot of such people, don’t get me wrong – and they’re heroes, in fact – but they are generally starved for funding and stymied by the very government they serve. You might want to read “The Fifth Risk,” by Michael Lewis. This is not a time for false positivism, or blind trust; it’s time for mature analysis and courage and strength. It’s amazing how being faced with really adult situations has a way of making us grow up. No more women acting like little girls. No more men acting like little boys. This is the collective coming-of-age event that no one saw coming. At the end of my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah, the Cantor walked her over to me and said, “You brought her here a child. I return her to you a woman.” That’s how I feel about all of us now.

Translate »