Kids, this thought comes at the second week of this strong suggestion by our Arkansas government to remain home because of COVID-19. I’m sure you remember this event because you were young adults at the time. Your senior year of high school was impacted. Your ability to attend school was limited to online access. Your opportunities to earn an income were significantly marginalized.
Decisions were made which had a significant impact on human beings all across our nation. States fell like dominoes making decisions which in their estimation protected the health and welfare of the public. These decisions impacted multiple sectors of society to include education, businesses of all sizes, and the everyday actions of people. Government officials made decisions which impacted all of us.
I hope one of the life lessons you hold dear are decisions have consequences.
There was this writer from wayback and his name was Frederic Bastiat. Mr. Bastiat wrote that small work I told you about called, The Law. I don’t know what your world looks like as you read this, but I would encourage you to read Mr. Bastiat’s small work. It maybe what you need.
Anyways, Mr. Bastiat addressed an objection resisting the plans or decisions of your government meant you did not want anything to happen regarding a particular situation. In summary, if someone opposed government education, government religion, government enforced equality, or anything instituted by your government, you were in opposition to the existence of the institution. Mr. Bastiat concluded this objection as being absurd because the line of reasoning acts to “accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain” (Bastiat, p.29).
Objections are like sunrises kids. Sunrises may look different from place to place but what remains the same is the sunrise you will see tomorrow is the same event I saw as a kid. The objection confronted by Mr. Bastiat was the same objection I and others faced during this COVID-19 time period.
People were strongly encouraged to stay home, close businesses, not gather for worship, or no longer attend school. Some states took larger measures enforcing lockdowns with penalty. When people raised voices in objection, they were met with the objection.
“If you care about your neighbor, stay home.”
“Someone’s health is more important than your service.”
And my favorite, “Let’s stop acting like kindergarteners and do what we are told.”
No rational or sensible human being desires to see another human being fall ill or worse yet, die. This was a period of difficulty and quickly evolving information. So, I was sympathetic to the worry of people. What was difficult to swallow was the apparent willingness of our population to simply be told what to do by government and to resist such mandates carried the added implication you did not care about the welfare of another. The fact was people cared but many would not give up their individual freedom to move, to assemble, to worship, and earn a living. You can maintain your freedom and at the same time consider the needs of another.
So I point you to Bastiat because you will at some point face a new experience, if you have not already. When your government determines it is necessary to mandate your life for the welfare of others, how will you respond?
Kids, you have the capabilities and personality to live and look out for others.
The beauty and compassion which resides in your neighbors to help each other is what distinguishes society from the forced philanthropy of government.
Now that is a beautiful sunrise.