Lawn-Chair-Itis

Instead of speaking to red-blue, left-right, urban-rural, propaganda-truth dichotomies…false dichotomies IMO, let’s talk about “momentum”.

Pendulums of public opinion swing. Power and corruption seek momentum in the societal imagination.

Without social vision, a set of goals, we need a show, a parade we can drag our lawn chairs to, like a mindless destination.

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.”(1)

Covid-19 is an opportunity. Specifically, Covid-19 is the show stopper. A light is shining on us, ensconced in our lawn chairs watching the show.

Our societal reactions are mixed. Some of us. manifest courage, some exhibit puerile denial, most reveal an unspoken aversion. Seen this way, one is convinced our social systems and institutions are broken.

Watching the show, we don’t see sacrifice. We don’t own sacrifice. Because we forget what sacrifice means.

A journalist friend of mine once quizzed me, “what is the most difficult job in Washington?” A lawn chair sitter, I took the bait. “The President of the United States?, “ I answered. “Nope. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, followed close behind by the Speaker of the House.”

“How can this be?”

“Well, measured by the number of staff each office represents, related to the leadership challenge of the job, think this way. The Chief Justice of SCOTUS has a staff of six clerks and maybe 25 assistants of various title. The SPOTH has a staff of perhaps 30. The POTUS has a staff — in the West Wing alone — of maybe 100 and another 1500 across the street. And each is responsible for the administration of a separate branch of government.”

What my misperception reveals is that where I focus and what I focus on has a lot to do as to where I am standing. If I am not standing, figuratively if not literally in solidarity with another, I am not focusing on where we are.

And multiplied, like the virus, my lawn-chair-itis is a sickness.

(1) Ted Levitt, “The Marketing Imagination”

Writer, essayist, dreamer.