In one of my previous letters, I mentioned that tolerance does not equal acceptance. I would also submit itelligence does not always equal wisdom.
As our elected and appointed officials continue to make policy regarding the pandemic and an attempt to get past it, they continue to make horrible and unwise decisions. Let me give you an example of what I mean. People are debating about how many trillions of dollars to spend on “infrastructure” and the state is sending billions to the schools, counties, cities, etc. On the surface it seems great, but if the money does not reach the people who need the help, the problem will only get worse.
Many businesses are finding it difficult to get employees, and the jobs report last week was abysmal. California continues to lead the nation in unemployment because why would anyone want to go to work if they get paid more to stay home. Schools are flush with money. When kids are attending only one class a day, how many masks do you need?
The state has a $75 billion budget surplus, and the governor is proposing giving everyone money, but a one time check will only make it worse. Businesses who employ people (typically small and mid sized businesses), should get the most assistance since they were most targeted for closures. A lot of businesses are continuing to have people “work” remotely.
I would like to believe that our leaders are intelligent, many have college degrees, and are “experts” in their fields, but very few have any wisdom. Wisdom is a deeper understanding of things—it has a moral compass, it sees things in the long term, it understands that the needs of the many are more important than the needs of the few or the one. It is sustainable, it is just, it seeks to help rather than hinder.
Throughout the whole pandemic the focus has been on those the pandemic has killed, and as I have stated earlier many times that the suffering of death is real, but the real victims of the virus are those it has “wounded.” Every person who lost their dignity, their self worth, their freedom. Every person who has lost their business, their life’s work, every person who was told that they weren’t “essential.” Everyone who lost a loved one. Everyone who had an older family member “locked up” in their retirement home. And what I think is the greatest damage done: every kid who sat at home for over a year doing “school” on their couch. And the indignity done to every young elementary school student to have to wear a mask to school when there was zero evidence that they were at risk to themselves or others.
The damage done to our children will last for a generation, yet our elected and appointed leaders argue about which flags to raise, about which group of people deserves special treatment, about so many things which have nothing to do with helping us recover from their own foolish, unwise decisions that led to this mess in the first place.
Ask your mother or grandmother, wisdom would have never locked people indoors breathing the same infected air, in close proximity to others. Wisdom would have never closed down churches when data shows that people of faith are healthier and live longer. Wisdom would have recognized that everyone is essential.
People often ask why we could all pull together to win World War Two, but we can’t even agree on anything during this pandemic. The answer is simple: our grandparents and our parents had wisdom, too many of this current generation only have intelligence, and they are far from being the same.