Kin Lane

Visually Being Able to See Who Cares About Others and Who Does Not

It is fascinating to be able to see who cares about other people and who doesn’t, simply by looking around to see who is where a mask and who isn’t. Audrey and I are in the slow roll house hunting mode and we can actually drive through a town where we are looking at houses and immediately establish an understanding about how much people will care about their neighbors. I have always had suspicion that most people do not care about other people in this world, but now there is a visual way for me to tell simply while walking or driving down the street. I never thought in my life that you’d have such an effective tool for understanding who is so selfish, something that is clearly a distinct American trait.

Even on Facebook the quick litmus test for how people see the world is if they put up any resistance to wearing a mask in their posts and comments. Sharing with everyone how it barely works and still lets in germs and viruses, while also making them super uncomfortable, and oh it violates their rights. Their view of the mask is purely from a selfish dimension-—where it is all about them. I always respond to the mask not doing anything argument, by say, with your mask off spit, now with your mask on do the same thing. Did it do anything? I see these same people complain about the need for the plexiglas barriers between them and retail workers, only to be given a receipt by the worker—-declare, “why even bother with the plexiglass”. With no thought to the fact that the plexiglass is there is to protect the work from the hundreds of people they have to see, so that when they do hand them something, that they won’t be sick—-or unable to do their job at all—-or worse, dead. The people I know who are still resisting masks are clearly only seeing the world from their eyes, unable to empathize with anyone else.

What amazes me is that we are approach 200K people dead, and most of these people don’t even flinch. Most of them don’t even think those numbers are real. These people tend to bundle these stats with all of the other meaningless data that flows around them each day, attributing it to fake news, lying politicians, or worst, the deep state. That is half the number that died in WW2, and four times the number that died in Vietnam. It is just crazy. These selfish people have either totally dismissed these human beings as being fake, or that somehow they don’t matter—-they were old, brown, or some other useless, unwanted version of a human being. It is so terribly sad. It is troubling that so many are unable to see, understand, and value other human beings that share the earth with them. That the only thing that matters is what they can visibly see and experience, and everything else doesn’t exist. No sense of a shared experience. No understanding that we are all on this planet, and in this country together. all that matters are individuals, and our own selfish needs.

Americans love to talk about our individualism. It is supposedly what makes us exceptional. What we are seeing right now I think is the limits of which being an individual can be an asset, and where it starts to become a liability. When you have so many people who don’t care about others, but so passionately demand that we should care about them, you’ve reached an unsustainable point for a society and especially a democracy. That wearing a piece of cloth on your face when you go outside is unacceptable, yet 200K dead people somehow acceptable. It blows my mind. Breaks my heart. Where people believe in freedom, but they do not believe in equality. Everyone for themselves. It isn’t the world I believe in. It breaks my heart to have people I love and care for be so selfish and uncaring for others. Sadly, I can’t spent my days arguing with these people on Facebook or in person, and I am just going to have to wait for opportunities for lessons to come along that will help show them the limits of individualism. Sadly I am afraid many of these people are going to leave this world care only for themselves-—what a sad way to go through such a beautiful world possessing such a diverse and rich mix of human beings.