Diary

The Second Time is Harder


When you are young, the first time you have to change your mind about any particular thing is easy. You can say, momma taught me how to do it, or someone told me, it was my friend’s idea. The responsibility for things you learn whilst growing up is easily laid off on someone else’s shoulders.

But the second time you want to change your mind the problem is very much different. This time you have to first say to yourself, “I decided this was what I think on this subject” and then accept that the idea you, personally, decided upon was wrong!

Very different indeed.

In an odd sort of way I think there is some similarity to what we see going on with COVID and the increasing infection rates. For a time we were willing to cooperate — some of us. And they we got weary with well-doing and we let go our determination, and we mingled — and more got sick.

Then we knuckled down again and more of us tried masks, and social spacing, and such. But once again we got tired and the holidays were upon us and we have to admit that the bind we have gotten ourselves into is of our own doing.

But… you know… we don’t really want to say that. We want the world to go back to what it was last year, and the year before, and the year before that. We aren’t happy with the world that is, and we are fighting tooth and nail to have our own way — like a nation full of temper-tantruming-two-year-olds.

There is no joy in having to admit that WE made mistakes.

There is no joy in seeing hospitals reaching overload.

There is no joy in being told day after day after day to stay home and stay safe.

But the only fix to a world gone mad is a world that pays attention to the scientists and doctors among us — and thus far we, as a society, are still fighting tooth and nail.

It’s a human thing, and in a culture where individual freedom is elevated above all else the idea that I am responsible for my own actions is not an idea that is well received. Someone ELSE has to be responsible in the world we have created for ourselves and we don’t want to be forced to admit that we have screwed up.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just say, I didn’t understand how important it was because someone else taught me. But the thing is, by now we all have heard about the precautions we need to take, and it’s up to us — individually — to take responsibility for our actions.

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One thought on “The Second Time is Harder

  1. I love this: ” like a nation full of temper-tantruming-two-year-olds” and it’s not just the U.S.A. much of the world is reacting in much the same way. It has a lot to do with resenting being told what to do – even when it’s for our own good, and the good of our societies. Sad commentary on human nature that it is.

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