Isolation caused by the pandemic might be an opportunity for heartfelt introspection

To the Editor:

In 1979, President Jimmy Carter warned us of the “nearly invisible threat we faced as a nation.” What he was referring to then was a growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and a loss of unity in our national purpose.

It was a call for an examination of our lives and a call for an end to consumerism as that national purpose. Someone once told me, “Satisfaction only comes when you have 10 percent more than you have.” A constant struggle for more is a futile exercise at best and the road to ruin at worst.

It may be possible that, from the pain of the COVID-19 pandemic, we as a nation will come to see the futility of that constant desire for more. The isolation caused by the pandemic just might be an opportunity for some heartfelt introspection. We might learn what is really important in our lives and just maybe we’ll discover it isn’t for sale.

Speaking for myself. I have found far more pleasure and personal satisfaction from the concrete results of my labor. The feeling one gets from giving without expecting anything in return or working in the garden or helping a neighbor or a family member can’t be bought; it can only be earned. Those things make for a fine national purpose in my estimation.

Perhaps a slight bend toward that and away from the shopping mall, virtual or otherwise, will be the silver lining in the cloud we are currently under.

Keith Cook


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