This Is Not the New Normal

This is NOT the new normal. NOR SHOULD WE EVER ACCEPT IT as such.

When have human beings ever succumbed to their FEARS when faced with threats that, at the time, were considered “existential?” When have we ever decided to give up WITHOUT A FIGHT?

When have we ever gone backward, building something less than what preceded it after a crisis? WE HAVE NEVER! NOR WILL WE EVER.

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The new normal is not going to be our being so afraid that we can no longer be closer than six feet away from each other. We are not going to give up EMBRACING THE PEOPLE WE LOVE AND CARE ABOUT when we see them after being apart for periods as short as a week. We are not going to refuse to share an ice cream sundae with our children, even using the same spoon, nor are we going to disallow them to play with the kids next door. We are going to touch our faces, and we are going to HOLD THE HANDS OF THE PEOPLE WE LOVE.

We are NOT GOING TO COWER in our homes, ordering food to be delivered using an option to avoid any contact with the person making the delivery. We are not going to give up going to restaurants and bars and theaters and other places we frequent. We are NOT going to give up SHARING EXPERIENCES WITH HUNDREDS and thousands of friends, and families, and strangers, like concerts and political rallies, and sporting events, especially college football and basketball and the county fair.

We are going to GET ON AIRPLANES and cross the country or the globe to SPEND TIME WITH PEOPLE in places far from our homes. There is no substitute for traveling and exploring the world, nor is there anything that replaces meeting people from different areas and learning about them and their unique cultures. You can see the art in the Louvre on the internet, but you will still not have EXPERIENCED IT YOURSELF. You can talk to people over chat and email and video, but it is something less than meeting them face-to-face, in real life, and where they live. If “the new normal” means giving up these things, then THE NEW NORMAL MUST BE REJECTED WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE.

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We are going to go back to doing business with people in face-to-face meetings, being wholly unwilling to trade a video conference for the much better, more critical, and MORE HUMAN INTERACTION that occurs when we spend time with the people with whom we do business or the people we want to do business with in the future.

We are not going to hoard soap or toilet paper or food or any other supplies that were abundant before this crisis. OUR FUTURE IS NOT ONE OF SCARCITY. IT IS ONE OF EVEN GREATER ABUNDANCE.

NONE OF THE THINGS WE ARE DOING NOW IS NORMAL. DAMN IT! The measures we are taking are necessary to stem the tide of a significant health issue. Others are merely poor substitutions and workarounds that we should give up as soon as possible, something we should be working FURIOUSLY to make SOONER RATHER THAN LATER. These temporary measures are just that; temporary. They need to be observed, but NOT FOREVER. These are the middle chapters of our story, not the end.

At first, WE EXPERIENCE THE UNKNOWN WITH A SENSE OF FEAR. It takes us a little time to understand the NATURE OF THE THREAT. Not too long after that, OUR FEAR SUBSIDES, and WE START TO FIGHT, we begin the process of SETTING THINGS RIGHT.

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THERE IS NOTHING MORE POWERFUL THAN THE HUMAN SPIRIT. The stories we tell are always the same, facing our fears, fighting a battle we can’t possibly win, with what seems to be a futile attempt to win what is a lost cause. UNTIL WE FIND SOMETHING DEEP INSIDE US, something hidden away and only activated in times of incredible danger and adversity.

We never lose because we can’t possibly allow it. WE NEVER FAIL TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE AND THINGS WE LOVE from anything that threatens them. We never lose because we never quit until we beat back the chaos and the danger, restoring order. THIS TIME WILL BE NO DIFFERENT.

THIS IS NOT THE NEW NORMAL.



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