What I Learned from Mom About Pandemics

My mother wasn’t a politician or public health expert, but she had strong opinions based on her experience surviving the depression as a child. She knew, on a gut level – literally and figuratively – what hunger did to people. She must be horrified now, looking down from Heaven, to see long lines of people unable to feed their families. And she would blame it on political insensitivity, even if she wouldn’t use that exact term.

Mom brought peace to our little world, without ever winning a Nobel Prize for her work. She just believed that people should get along and so she treated them that way. She never held a grudge, at least not very firmly. And she told me that while I didn’t have to be best friends with everyone, at least I had to give them a chance.

She said this about boys too, back when I was dating them. I remember thinking at that time, you can’t possibly mean this, Mom. I mean, he might have been polite to you, but you didn’t see him gearing up for a teenage smooch-a-thon. I always wondered if that would have changed her mind. Now I know she wouldn’t have. She believed people could figure out the right thing to do if you would only give them the chance. She’d say, it takes time to experience people, to value what is special about them, and to discover their flaws, fatal and otherwise.

In the meantime, she would want to make sure that everyone have a chance. Being civic-minded, she would expect her elected officials to find a way that is fair.

I wonder how many politicians are listening to their moms.

By the way, you might also enjoy experiencing this video. My mom would have loved it. It’s called When the World is One.


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