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Ignite Wednesday Wisdom | 9DEC20

What a week for debates on social media. It generally had two themes…

“Hurrah a vaccine!” or “A vaccine – are you mad?”

Somewhere between the rejoicing, rejecting, and insulting what shone through, yet again, was our inability to just disagree without needing everyone to know our side, our viewpoint, our ‘researched’ opinion.

‘V-Day’ was like a battle of credentials with a never-ending number of rounds; a relentless line of combatants and more scrolling than I could entertain.

It got me thinking about the disagreements of our lives and our apparent inability to just be in a place where we don’t need to either justify our position or ridicule anyone else’s.

I can say hand on heart that I never ever expect everyone to agree with me. I mean sometimes I end up discovering that I don’t even agree with myself. I don’t need everyone to nod in acceptance of my views – in fact, there are some folk I’d rather didn’t.

My circle, my life, my city, the world would all be quite dull if we did all agree but I worry with the Covid Vaccine that there is something more to play for. That it deserves more than a social media game of insult tennis with folk who don’t even know each other.

Cards on the table - I am a fan of the vaccine. I’m delighted & grateful that they developed it in less than a year. The very implication we could feel safer if it took 5 years seems ridiculous. Our world would be emptier if it took longer. There would be many more broken hearts and too many things left unsaid and undone.

My friend who is a Doctor working in hospitals throughout this pandemic summed up what the vaccine means for her in a couple of sentences and I couldn’t agree more…

Vaccination is not an individual sport. It requires an understanding and commitment to the concepts of community and altruism. I think what saddens me most is that our sense of collective wellbeing has diminished such that an individual considers that their right to believe nonsense is more important that their responsibility as part of a collective.

If we want the whole world to start moving again, we all need to do our bit. Share the risk, share the joy, hopefully share many more memories.

And the bigger point is - all the disagreements in our life are the same if we chose to continue living in communities and not in isolation. They call on us to think about something other than ourselves, our own point of view, our own self-interest.

I’m not sure when I’ll be offered the vaccine but when I am, I will gladly take it. If not for me then for my elderly neighbour, for my friend with cancer, the child down the road with asthma. They need me to do this and I love my community enough to do it for them. I’ll do it for us all. Its not enough that I survive Covid – I’d prefer we all did.

This week I urge us all to contemplate the views we hold that could probably do with some softening or a gentler approach. Maybe its for the good of our marriages, our friendships, our workplaces, or our wider society.

There is more that unites us than divides us – sometimes we just need to look a little harder to find it.

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