Yesterday my good friend reminded me that every garden has weeds. In other words there are bad apples in every batch.
Yesterday, I went to my first Freedom Rally in Memorial Park, downtown Calgary in regards to Vaccine Mandates and Vaccine Exemptions. I went to see for myself what people were saying, what was motivating them and quite honestly, I wanted to see if they were extreme in their views. That last point is important to me because I struggle when people are polarized in their views, when a situation has only two possible solutions. When it’s either this or that. It’s so divisive. There’s got to be a better third option.
What I found when I went to the Rally, were good people with families in tow peacefully demonstrating and sharing their experiences. There were all kinds of people from different backgrounds there. They were smiling and dancing and friendly and motivated by a deep desire to stand up for the good of all of us. They made some very good points. They also made some points that seemed a stretch to me, maybe even unsubstantiated broad-stroked statements. But this is true of both sides of this issue. Every garden has weeds.
I started this pandemic journey getting doubly-vaccinated. I did this from a place of wanting to protect vulnerable populations. I have family and friends who have underlying conditions that make them more susceptible to bad outcomes if they contract this virus. This is a huge step for me in the sense that in pre-pandemic times I never got the flu shot. I’m healthy, I have what I believe to be a good immune system, I hardly ever get sick. So I really had to mull it over. But I feel good about my choice to do so. Many people made this choice. All kinds of people from different backgrounds, for different reasons and from a place of wanting to do good for everyone.
As the pandemic went on, I became frustrated that it didn’t seem to make a difference, even as we approached satisfactory levels of herd immunity. And the inconsistencies in mandates were so exasperating, i.e., this group needs to do this to stay safe, while this group can run around Willy Nilly just didn’t make sense to me. And then airports – people coming and going from places that were nowhere near achieving herd immunity because, in my view, the vaccine formula was not freely shared with these countries. If science was truly to be accepted why didn’t we act like it? Honestly it feels like it’s about money. It’s about politics. It’s about greed and not about the common good of everyone.
Yes, I hate polarization. Perhaps that is a flaw in my belief system. And perhaps I even unwittingly participate in polarization. But just as I grow as a person and hopefully become a better version of myself, perhaps any great thing that humanity has ever achieved starts out with polarized views which result in one-sided truths. Maybe this is the process it takes before we become open to hear the other side and hopefully come to a place of understanding, not through government, not through corporations, but through the masses as we choose to not see each other as the enemy and work together to break through ‘it’s either this or that’ thinking to get to the better third option.
What do you think?