Recalling Communal Sanity Instead of Collective Distress

I spent a good portion of my morning fighting the swarms of “scavenger shoppers” at the local Costco. I ended up obtaining what I needed (the most desirable item on the market presently – toilet paper), but the atmosphere was one of dismay and discontent. It’s evident that people don’t find great joy in being required to stand in mile-long lines, or that they’ve somehow discovered a new sense of pleasure in purchasing bath tissue. But I perceive that it is not very apparent to a decent parcel of the inhabitants of society why so many of us have turned ourselves into temporarily inconsiderate, insensible, and fearful human beings. 

            The inconsiderateness, and insensibleness, are both byproducts of fear. We wouldn’t be out buying large amounts of sometimes unnecessary commodities If we didn’t have a logical reason to do so, but this is wrong. Read any random phycological report on the consequences of being fearful, and you will soon comprehend that the emotion “fear” has no tolerance for a mind that wishes to generate prudent actions. “Concerned that your household supplies aren’t enough?” Don’t just go out and purchase what you need, hoard it, go to as many stores as you possibly can and rid them of everything you can get your hands on! These are the types of irrational decisions fear will advocate that you physically execute. In actuality making these types of choices would be careless and nonsensical. By purchasing excessive amounts of anything from any outlet, you can deprive other potential customers of the ability to properly supply themselves, especially when it comes to scarce products. While you may feel great about “stocking up”, you’ve just made the entire community less stable.

            The fear that most people are experiencing in America today has little to do with the COVID-19 pandemic, but a lot to do with collective distress. Media networks, cable news channels, and internet propaganda are all significant influencers to the mental health of the collective. Reading, watching, and immersing yourself with negative material is not of supreme benefit for the mind in these times. It is undoubtedly good to be informed about the threat that this pandemic poses, but to consistently trouble ourselves with the fear of the “potential” is disadvantageous. 

            The contrary move that society should be taking is obvious, we need to encourage mass communal sanity.While we are all quarantined at home, with our families and friends (or by ourselves), let us not spend ridiculous amounts of time staring into the internet universe and frightening our minds with disheartening information. Instead, may we reflect upon ourselves and also what we can do to improve the condition of the community without getting infected. Whether this means bringing an elderly person a meal or two, or taking a disabled person to the grocery store, it all matters extensively to the health of the populace. 

We have the opportunity to think a little, read a bit, and chat with those around us. While the future matters substantially, and the past should be of timely relevance, the way in which we conduct our persons over the next couple of months is crucial to the outcome of this unfortunate plight. 

            Dylan Shetler is a freelancing self-taught journalist and Christian apologist. He owns and operates his personal blog The Onlookers Publication:

You can follow him on Twitter @shetler_dylan

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