Perspective: Be The Nation Worth This Struggle

Apr 6, 2020

It is always important to use words precisely, but never more than now. One hears terms such as social distance, self-isolation, just plain isolation, communication, and loneliness. It is imperative to use such terms precisely.

Yes, we must maintain social distance for now. Some of us must self-quarantine. But still there must be communication. Public officials must communicate with us. Businesses must communicate. Absolutely, we must continue to communicate with each other.

Note that there are several reasons or purposes for these imperatives. These behaviors are, of course, necessary for the health of each of us. But they are imperative also for the health of all of us; and they are imperative for the recovery and health of American society.

We are by nature a gregarious people. The French visitor Alexis de Tocqueville observed this national trait in the 1830s. We cooperate. We join. We help others. We behave this way generally for unselfish reasons. This behavior has never been needed more than now.

The imperative of social distance must not degenerate into selfishness, withdrawal, and the destructive isolation of loneliness. We must, of course, preserve our physical health. But we must also preserve our character and national soul. The America that emerges from this struggle must be worth the struggle.

I'm Bob Evans, and that is my perspective.