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Natural Awakenings South Jersey

What are our values now?

May 08, 2020 11:02AM ● By Michelle Vacanti

Michelle Vacanti

 The current health situation has certainly brought us all to our knees and forced us to reflect on our lifestyles and value systems. We are presented a tremendous opportunity to get off the treadmill, so to speak, and reset. We must ask ourselves what this will look like. Do we want to go back to “normal”? As we contemplate whether that was working, most would agree that the trajectory we were on, was unsustainable. 

My first thought, in the midst of conflicting data, media propaganda and outright censorship of information, is that we need to take control of our own health. There is a lot that we don’t know, but what we do know is that co-morbidities account for the vast majority of fatalities due to the current health crisis. Conditions such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and even cancer in many cases, are preventable.

Second, what are our values? Societal balance depends on a system of value propositions; currently, we find ourselves evaluating the preservation of life and minimization of risk at all costs vs. the basic constitutional freedom to live our lives, to participate in the economy and to feed our families, while also making responsible decisions that mitigate the threat of disease transmission to others. These propositions, while conflicting, presumably have equal value at the very top of a civilized ranking system, and so it is easy to see how controversy arises.

There are arguments on each side of the coin as a growing number of immunologists are recommending the re-opening of our economy as a measure to strengthen our immune systems and develop herd immunity. In a civil discourse, we would consider all of the possibilities without walling up and defending our positions.

And in forming our opinions, we must consider these questions at minimum: Do we want to live in a “virtual” world devoid of the beauty of human contact at all costs? Do we want a world in which Amazon, large corporations, big-box retailers and chain restaurants are the only thing left standing? Do we want a society where fundamental civil liberties are a relic of the past? Do we want to live in a world of fear?

One of the most important items for me as I compose my thoughts today, is how we move forward and save our small businesses. I am committed to having integrity in my purchasing decisions. It is a choice and we need to make different decisions now. Our local small businesses, eateries and farmers will need us more than ever. Rise to the challenge and resist the urge to press a few keys on a computer for your material goods. You may find that you didn’t need as many “things” as you used to anyway. 

Finally, this is a call to action to take care of our vessels. Get out in nature, exercise, meditate, forgive, be mindful of your diet and turn off the news for a while…

And remember, This Too Shall Pass,

Michelle

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