Only If Necessary

I’ve been reading a lot to acquire insight for navigating our global pandemic. Many scientists make their salient points with “only if necessary” placed at the beginning or end of their summations. After reading this multiple times, I remain curious and wonder what does this actually mean? There are some who provide definite recommendations for us to examine and update how we live and work. We need to find and secure new approaches. In turn, this will require us to assess and update our boundaries. We have numerous decisions to make. Yet, will we listen?

Many experts place less focus on the benefits of working together or how shared civility can lead to improvements for all of us. Sadly, many of the “only if necessary” experts and leaders infer or identify specific age groups and social classes as more “necessary” by way of our response during this pandemic. Do we mean to send the message that people are optional? A one size fits all approach will not work nor will neglecting the design and application of a comprehensive strategy.

The pandemic is changing us. Truth be told, we are not the same. Ironically we were never the same, ever. We each possess different needs. Too often we identify or define sameness as equality. Equality is not sameness. Equality has to do with the liberty and freedom to experience natural opportunities. We identified these opportunities within our Bill of Rights in the United States — life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Personally, I wish we would substitute the word happiness today with new language that is more fitting with our times, such as: the pursuit of health and security. Our current language within the Bill of Rights sets us up for the expectation and ideology that we have the right to “pleasure”, which is a key to our modern day definition of happiness.

At this critical time in our history we are placing our pursuits of pleasure over human life in this country.

Look at our social settings like restaurants and bars. Most states are led by tenured politicians, who continue to frame communication about “opening up” restaurants, bars and health clubs as a human right. They focus on the economic justifications. Yet what about the value of life? Consider the people being required to return to work who are often forced to chose between the threat of their health versus economic vitality? What about their safety? Promoting a return to normal for “opening up” bars, restaurants and health clubs and allowing people to congregate in those establishments has proven to be dangerous. Is this liberty or is this foolish? Some leaders justify it as: “It’s business. We must do it”.

What must we do? It’s time to be more creative and innovate.

If we allow business to be given the opportunity to slide beyond that which is ethical we will repeat our patterns in the name of denial. Is this our only choice? Politics dictating what is best for humanity? We cannot allow capitalistic economics to be our excuse.

When we realize and learn the lessons that businesses lose when human life and dignity is marginalized – than things will genuinely change?

My own state is surrounded by many smart people who are capable of creating solutions to fit these new times. If they were asked to design these opportunities, I am confident we would take the challenge and create productive change and real solutions. We can create new businesses and update and expand upon job opportunities. This is possible if people in leadership would be willing to look the current situation square on and move beyond the denial phase of this exceptional change we are experiencing.

We must face what is, and turn away from what was, and realize that things will continue to change. This is the time to focus on new productive solutions, not continue to look back or work hard to “go back”.

We are living in a post COVID-19 reality. Let’s work together and find solutions. If we hear justifications for “business as usual” we must change minds and help others see these are old rationalizations that are embedded in denial. We’ve experienced denial during other hardships in our society’s history. These rationalizations will not serve our authentic needs now and in the coming months. What do I say to the rhetoric and justifications?

Poppycock, and only because it is necessary.

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Contact Beth Wellesley at 612.824.0454 (o) or 612.325.5104 (m). Email her at or use the CONNECTING menu.