Don Carlson: Respect the crisis
COVID-19 not only painfully reveals our cultural vulnerabilities but increasingly — and sadly — reconfirms our Culture of Narcissism as described, in 1979, by cultural historian Christopher Lasch.
Too many of us have little or no factual understanding of our history. When we fail to see the significance of our past, how then are we able to care or concern ourselves about our short or long-term futures?
As we emphasize the present, as we over-state our own importance, as we embellish our sense of entitlement, as we disregard others, as we Facebook, as we Twitter, any sense of community, any sense of nation — shared goals, beliefs, rules — is in serious jeopardy. Any land mass, with just people — a country — is the foundation for authoritarianism.
Our unfortunate cultural shift from some degree of valuing interdependency (more common to agrarian people, as well as with industrial people living with a sense of neighborhood and neighborliness) to the fixated quoting of technocratic “Fountainhead individualism” has wittingly or unwittingly positioned us from civic responsibility to personal success, to focus solely on property, power and prestige, to a people of – It’s all about me!
Our journey from this “theoretical” to an application is linked to our COVID-19 crisis reality. Our essential people, all of them, first responders, all medical people — the entire staff — at all medical facilities, as well as all people in grocers, restaurants, and retail personnel are people we are dependent on. And they are dependent on us to behave appropriately.
Interdependency continues to be sociological fact even in technocratic Carson City. Respect this crisis. COVID-19 does not respect “freedom of choice.”
Don Carlson is a Carson City resident.