The way you choose to solve problems in your life says a lot about who you are – how ethical you are, how much integrity you have, and whether you are a creative personality or a destructive one.
So, I always find it interesting when I hear people complaining about other people not wearing a mask outside. That is, I find it interesting that they have chosen this particular solution to the problem of protecting themselves from a potentially deadly disease.
A few examples:
“I’m finding myself surrounded by people who obviously have no regard for anyone else. This is disturbing and unfair to me and to many others out there.”
“I really don’t get the no masks. How hard is it to wear one around people (to protect everyone)? These people have made hazardous conditions even more hazardous as far as I’m concerned. Their blatant disregard for other people is very distressing to me.”
“I’m sick of hearing people tell ME to stay home if ‘I’m scared’ and support wearing a mask! Here’s an idea – those of YOU who refuse to wear a mask can stay home! Some of US want to be safe when we must go out!”
The people above have apparently decided that the best way to solve the problem of potential exposure to disease is to rely on other people. It does not occur to them in the slightest that those people might disagree with their assessment of things. They are apparently unaware that the world outside their windows is not beholden to them. Nor does it occur to them that they could rely on themselves to solve the problem without ever coming in conflict with their neighbors.
To me, it’s fairly obvious that these people aren’t really worried about the disease. If they were, they’d quickly find a better solution. It seems more likely that they enjoy the conflict, expressing their feelings of entitlement, and “virtual signaling” to their friends, as they say.
If you point this out to them, they reply:
“Personally speaking, I don’t choose to be in conflict with anyone.”
Uh, yes you do.
“I’m depending on my [neighbors] to do the right thing.”
Exactly. You’ve put the onus onto others. And by this, you are virtually ensuring that you will come into conflict with at least some of them.
But, why depend on them? It’s not their responsibility to look after you. And even if it was, you are unlikely to get what you believe you are entitled to. So, why not use your own initiative and come up with a solution that does not impose on others? If you did that, you would not be in conflict with anyone. You’d have no need to complain about the choices that others make. You would have nothing to virtue signal about. And you would be assured of your own protection against the disease.
But, some people cannot imagine how others could disagree with them. They say:
“…it’s really worrisome how many people just don’t get it. It does no harm to mask up but it does help to protect each other.“
Well, not true. Those who do not wear masks do not believe wearing a mask outside (or in some cases inside either) is of any use in protecting themselves or others from disease. But not only do they not believe masks are useful, they believe wearing a mask is detrimental to their health! Therefore, to them, those that accuse them are expecting them to sacrifice their OWN health to appease the mask wearer.
I know there are people who are truly afraid of coronavirus. This article is not directed at them. The people who are truly afraid are taking responsibility for their own health. They are choosing methods that they control. They either choose to stay home or they choose to wear shields that protect them from disease. They have no need to worry about whether others share their fears. They recognize that they have no guarantee, nor do they have the right to expect, that others will protect them. They may see those who have no fear as fools, but they can freely allow them to take their chances without exposing themselves to the same risk.
True fear is compelling.
For those who are fearful and genuinely wondering why I do not share your fear, start here.