Friday, July 10, 2020

Staple II Collage Series - 05

Staple II Collage Series -05

I saw this on Facebook today and decided it deserved being posted here.

FOR SOME PERSPECTIVE ON OUR CURRENT SITUATION: Janet Batchler, July 8, 2020. She writes: 

I've been thinking a lot about the Blitz.

During WW2, for 9 months straight, the Germans bombed London and other major cities in Great Britain. Every night, for weeks at a time with no break.

Here's what the Londoners did: They went to a complete blackout every night. Every night. All lights out. All windows covered with blackout curtains. As a result, the Germans couldn't see their targets (such as St. Paul's Cathedral), and had to drop their bombs flying blind.

Everyone stayed inside. Most people went underground, spending their nights in basements or crammed into Tube stations.

***** Everyone. Every single night. *****  If even a handful of people had kept their lights on, it would have helped the Luftwaffe find their targets. But everyone did their part.

Here's what the Londoners didn't do:

They didn't argue that they had the right to keep their curtains open.

They didn't say that the bombings were a hoax or that they would stop on their own.

They didn't say that it was dangerous to be out at night without any lights.

They didn't insist that businesses had to stay open in the evenings to prop up the economy.

They didn't say that the experts didn't know what they were talking about or insist that their uninformed opinions were just as valid.

Nope. They pulled their curtains shut. They went underground. They took care of each other.

They **put the interests of the community ahead of their own** personal self-interest, in one of the most remarkable feats of communal courage the modern world has seen.

My father lived through the Blitz. He didn't talk about it much. He lost almost all his friends in the Blitz and the War. (Many years later, this led him to move to America, where he ended up starting a family (me) 20 years later than most of his peers.)

But he carried the lessons of the Blitz to America with him. He'd seen what could happen when an entire country did what was in the best interests of all.

And when he saw people acting selfishly and stupidly in their own self-interest, he'd brand those people with the phrase. "I'm all right, the hell with you."

I'm all right, the hell with you.

***  When you refuse to wear a mask in public, you're saying, "I'm all right, the hell with you."  ***

When you insist that bars and beaches and gyms open up because you're bored, you're saying, "I'm all right, the hell with you."

When you demand that other people's children go back to school in patently unsafe environments, you're saying, "I'm all right, the hell with you."

We aren't being asked to run for shelter the second we hear an air raid siren.

We aren't being asked to huddle underground all night surrounded by strangers.

We aren't being asked to emerge every morning, wondering if our homes and everything we own still exists (2 million homes were destroyed during the Blitz — but only 30,000 Londoners died, because of the precautions they took).

*** All we have to do is stay home and wear masks. ***

What we need to do to stem the spread of this pandemic is so easy. Almost every other country in the world has managed to do it. But we haven't.

I wish we had the courage of London during the Blitz.

I wish we had the concern for our neighbors that Londoners showed to one another during the Blitz.

But apparently, we are a country of people proudly proclaiming, "I'm all right, the hell with you."

Is that who you want to be?

Stay home. Wear your mask



Bea said...

Well said. Thanks...

jacki long said...

Amen! So perfect.
I will share it in my blog 2907, Sunday.
Thank you, John and Janet Batchler.

Elsa of Lake Forest Park said...

I shared it with a number of groups and reposted it on FB. Very inspirational.
They were definitely a more mature and thoughtful people.
So tired of the short attention span and spoiled temperaments of a lot of U.S. folks.
Of, course, it would help if we had a president and a federal mandate.

I love the buffalo...very Muybridge.

Reminds me of a joke.
One buffalo say to another, “ shhh, what was that? “ the other one says “what was what?” The first one says, “ I though I heard a discouraging word.”

Robert said...

So well said! Thanks for posting this, John!

Robert said...

Why is it many Americans can’t put the common good above self interest? Is it because we have a President who models this kind of behavior and others follow suit?

julia said...

john, this is so striking to read..but first to you collage, and to elisa’s cute joke! thank you both for those..:-)
i’m currently reading about the settlement of early canada...and i’m thinking pretty much the same about those early pioneers as this author was thinking about the londoners in WW2.
it is not a huge sacrifice to simply cooperate and be respectful of others.
i’m up in canada and much as the world thinks canadians are much more “group-good” oriented, i’m pretty shocked at how many people are bending the rules to fit their own agenda..and they have interesting justifications too! ...we are content to stay home, and be good...