Masking the Truth:
The most important question facing us today is why so many individuals in the prime of their lives choose death over life? Why do so many people behave in self-destructive ways? Why would a young, healthy woman say “If I’m going to get Covid-19 and die from it, then so be it? Wearing a mask is a violation of my freedom”.
The next question is: Do You Wear A Mask?
Death caused by faulty choices is by far the number one American pandemic, and a multi-billion dollar business. It crosses all social classes and political affiliations. The Golden Gate Bridge Authority, for instance, is spending $200 million on a system to stop people from jumping off the bridge, before they commit suicide.
Approximately 50,000 people die by suicide annually and an additional 50,000 overdose on opioids as a result of eliminating pain, getting high or both.
Imagine costs and efforts associated with building wire fences on bridges or freeway overpasses everywhere. Not only this, special warnings can be found in the press and on cigarette packages, billboards, bus stops, and social media that warn against death caused by of all kinds of products that are popular. How many dollars are spent on medicine, social services, clinics, and emergency room visits to try to help people embrace life?
Statistics in the US tell a story of faulty choice. Roughly 700,000 deaths annually are due to unhealthy diets. People can’t seem to choose the right food that helps them maintain health. Most Americans are stressed and over-scheduled. Choosing fast food on the go is easier and more convenient than cooking.
50 times those numbers are choosing to shorten their lives by addiction to drugs, alcohol or gun violence. At last count, over 34 million adults are addicted to smoking and nearly 16 million live with smoking-related disease. Individuals ignore the warning on the package that this product causes premature death.
In 2018, according to Alcohol Facts and Statistics, 26 percent of people ages 18 and older reported binge drinking monthly, and 14 million adults have been diagnosed with alcohol use disorder. An estimated 88,000 die directly from alcohol-related deaths annually. Appeals to ‘drink responsibly’ are as effective in controlling rates of alcoholism as telling a heroin addict to shoot less.
Our commitment to self-destruction makes the Covid-19 numbers seem benign, yet bothersome. Individuals have developed deep rationalizations for their death-oriented behavior. Some people think COVID is a scam, masks don’t do anything and that it was scheme cooked up by the left just in time for the election in 2020. Those same people are also probably thinking another order of fries won’t hurt, fried food tastes good and I’ll go on a diet next week. They don’t think that they will die of cancer and so on and so forth.
Given the extent of culture-wide, high-risk, self-destructive behavior leading to premature death, is it of any surprise that tens of millions of Americans refuse to wear masks or social distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Why should they? Doesn’t everyone have the right to make personal choices to end his or her life?
Death By “I”:
Individuals consider it their personal choice to wear a mask, smoke, eat the wrong foods and use drugs of all types. On the extreme side, death by suicide is a personal choice; and it’s virtually impossible to restrain any individual legally over the age of 18 years. Personal choice is seen as the ultimate form of independence.
Personal beliefs, however, can be misleading. Hyper-individualism feeds self-destructive behavior. The “I” of accumulation of everything—money, goods, services, and the latest fads– is a primary social value; and technology is used primarily to drive consumption. Any limits on ‘free choice’ or constraints in the marketplace are seen as treachery, a conspiracy hatched by government. “Don’t tell me what to do or how to behave” is a constant din as normal as apple pie.
The “I” of accumulation masks a profound dependency. Billions of people are spent cleaning up after bad choices referred to above. Increasing hospital costs and the rising of unnecessary deaths due to Covid-19 are taking their toll, and the legacy of cost supporting people who say it’s their right to smoke, drink, and party any way that they want is immense. All dependent on others to fund or suffer second- hand effects.
The “I” of accumulation is also destroying the biological basis of our planet, the ultimate death practice. 60 percent of the planet is being degraded due to consumption, and 40 percent of our food supply in the ocean has disappeared. When you purchase a gas-guzzling, high carbon dioxide generating auto-driving global warming car, because your family needs room for soccer gear is, well, a personal choice.
Without regard for others, and the planet we will extinct ourselves based on a false sense of independence. We are addicted, like two-year-olds who hate limits, to expressing our right to choose whatever we want, no matter the cost. The choice of asserting false liberty, and increasing the probability of death is the fabrication of a highly pathological mind.
What can we do to begin change course and support life over death?
Life By Revolt & Social Connection:
Choosing life over death:
- Reframe your questions to how can I contribute to a greater whole? Ask yourself how your behavior is good for others and the Earth. How does your personal choice have universal consequences for improved life? If you don’t like to wear a mask, ask what are the potential impacts of not wearing it; then wear it.
- Start with practical, daily steps. What specifically can I contribute to heal the world that we all inhabit on a daily basis? Mark down 3-4 behaviors and get to it. Experiment and learn what works for you and others.
- Call out self-destructive behavior for what it is, a disguised and costly form of dependency as infantile as needing to be taken care of to survive. Start suggesting that people who engage in high-risk, self-destructive behavior should pay for their damage. If you smoke, pay up. If you don’t wear a mask and ignore social distancing, pay up. If you own assault rifles, and handguns, pay up. If you want to buy cheap environmentally destructive products, pay up. We can’t afford to be financing or running large-scale nurseries for individuals who are addicted to free choice at all costs.
- Make a real personal choice—a counter choice– to consume 50 percent less of what you normally consume. See if you can control yourself. Decide that 7-10 pair of shoes, tops, and décor items; two-dozen stem wear glasses; pillows throughout the house, and endless trinkets are enough. Drop Amazon and support small businesses, instead! Stay away from the buy button. Redirect you behavior to educating others on the reality of the damage of unfettered ‘free choice’. And dump the gas-guzzler.
Choosing life over death won’t be easy. It means making more conscious decisions, more careful choices, and asking bigger questions. But, you will be stronger for it, exercising more control over your behavior and growing beyond the perils of dependence masked as independent free choice. Forsake your crib to create a healthier world.