Even though we all anxiously await and foresee the end of the pandemic and the “return to normal” that is coming, and for several appears here presently, it is critical for all of us to study just what that “normal” need to be.
Really should it be lifestyle just as it was in 2019, the pre-COVID times that seem so lengthy back? Or should it be some model of a “new normal” with the specter of sickness and sickness lingering above our lives, and classes figured out guiding our life? And if we are to make alterations to how we live, act and interact, how do we make certain that the changes are useful and not hazardous to ourselves and to culture?
In the last calendar year and a fifty percent, we have shed more than a 50 % million lives in The united states, considerably much too a lot of, and significantly far too a lot of suitable here in our group. Tens of millions much more were being critically sick, some with long lasting facet effects. Careers and livelihoods have been shed. Enterprises ended up shuttered, quite a few in no way to return. Desires were deferred or turned into nightmares. Loneliness and melancholy and the ensuing addictions enhanced. Religion in our leaders was ruined, and perception in absurdities and conspiracy theories thrived.
But – and it is a really huge but – we also acquired just how excellent our region, our community and our possess selves can be. We – and by we I signify the frustrating group of Us residents and the far more than overwhelming community of our neighbors and good friends – did what had to be completed in the encounter of the worst pandemic in in excess of 100 a long time. We leaned on our beloved kinds. We helped our neighbors. We helped overall strangers. Corporations adapted, struggled and ready to succeed yet again. We masked up and then the vaccine came, miraculously made in record time. We persevered right until we bought it.
So wherever do we go from here?
For inspiration, I ordinarily change to any a person of my numerous heroes in American heritage. The terms of Washington, Madison, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and countless other outstanding thinkers have guided me by way of several organization, private and political issues. To take into account how we go forward now, I am reminded of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who, early in his military services profession, when primary the revitalization of West Level, talked about the a few pillars of each particular and societal conduct: values, behaviors and attitudes.
It is time now for us to search back again on the values, routines and attitudes that we held pre-COVID and through COVID, with an eye to not just returning to usual, but ushering in a new and improved regular. I admit that just having back again to wherever we ended up would be wonderful, but why not study and grow?
Values, routines and attitudes are both of those personal and communal. I will not talk for the “personal” aspects, simply because, properly, that is own. I know that I will study the way I was and how I could modify dependent on the classes of the very last year and a half. The Socratic pronouncement that an unexamined existence is not really worth living has by no means been additional correct than it is now. I hope to deepen the comprehension of my duty to other folks (values), care for my individual well being much more (practices) and treasure just about every moment I have (attitudes).
We can just about every independently look at where we had been, how we have been, and what we want for ourselves for the potential. As a local community, even though, we need to occur collectively to study our shared values, behavior and attitudes so that we are all better for the discomfort we went by means of. Our country have to grapple with challenges these kinds of as a redefined idea of flexibility (no, you are not “free” to endanger another’s well being), but it is below, in our group, that we have the chance to appear at the values, routines and attitudes that shape our every day lives.
I would not fake to know all of the features of our very own Jersey Shore society that can be appeared at with new article-COVID viewpoint. Nor could anybody else. But together, we can. Each unique, and especially every single elected official, should be arranging for the instant and the extended-term foreseeable future of our group.
I know that I have gotten an even higher perception of how beneficial our regional organizations are. Shop regionally was a great motto now I notice that searching regionally desires to be a behavior. Our dining establishments need to have to survive. Outside eating aided numerous of them do just that, and, oh, do individuals adore it. If your attitude was that out of doors dining was an annoyance, it is time for a new perspective. Empty storefronts are the bane of any municipality. For elected officers, permitting firms fall short, or failing to proactively work to fill business room, is a dereliction of duty. That has to be our frame of mind.
We valued our healthcare personnel, 1st responders and our law enforcement forces just before COVID, but now, watching them set their possess very well-staying on the line each and every day, we need to do far more to demonstrate them the respect they are entitled to. Donate, volunteer, provide a sort term – type new routines that present what we have acquired about these heroes.
I missed the arts that are so crucial to our local community. From Surflight Theatre to the Lighthouse Global Movie Festival, to the neighborhood museums, to the LBI Foundation of the Arts and Sciences, to our fantastic community artists and musicians, ReClam the Bay, and a lot of more – they are important to our daily life. I know that several of them struggled to endure. Numerous of them also showed what creative imagination and resilience can appear like (assume Lighthouse Film Festival and travel-in movies!). Now they need our individual and governmental assist. And we will need the enjoyment they convey us. Benefit what they suggest to our community. Make it a routine to help them. And have a authentic New Jersey angle when telling elected officials to help arts and tradition.
Of a single point I am specific: Not anyone will have the similar stage of convenience heading forward. Every person, however, can exhibit an attitude of acceptance and assist.
So what values, routines and attitudes must we have as a local community heading forward? I do not have all the solutions to that. What I have written below just scratches the floor. Think about it. Start out a dialogue with many others about values, practices and attitudes. Share your ideas with me. Share your feelings with each individual elected formal that signifies you, locally and nationally. I know some great tips will appear from these an exercise.
“The 1 point in the planet that simply cannot be stopped is a great thought.” So stated Gen. Douglas MacArthur – not a terrible information for establishing enhanced values, routines and attitudes.
John M. Imperiale is commissioner of public protection and public affairs in Harvey Cedars. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.