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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Leduc Catlin

Compassion For The Victims

Who’s responsible for this mess?

If you haven’t read yesterday’s blog, here’s a spoiler…

All of us.

But not in the way you might think.

For many of us, the term “responsible” means to blame.

But responsibility, in this context, is the ability to respond - as opposed to react.

In other words, to use our minds with clarity and reason, rather than our reptilian brains’ reactive survival mechanism.

So far, very few people, groups, or governments have demonstrated responsibility.

Yesterday, I wrote about personal responsibility and the opportunity to be empowered.

Why focus there, when there are so many culpable people and governing bodies to hold to account?

We do need to hold their feet to the fire, as the saying goes.

But as Infectious Disease Epidemiologist and Stanford Professor of Medicine, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, said in the interview I posted earlier this week...

“The people who have been arguing, who have staked their professional reputations on lockdowns - the scientists and so forth - will be the very last people to change their mind. And I don’t really think that’s where the change will come.”

Change will come, is coming, from the people.

Lay people who hear something, see something, experience something that just doesn’t sit well anymore.

The courageous doctors, scientists, and journalists who are speaking and sharing the truth need to keep doing what they’re doing, but they and we will not be effective in persuading the general public if we degrade, belittle, or mock them for following orders.

As Swedish psychiatrist, Dr. Mikle Eades, points out in this short video except from his TEDx Talk, people have been lulled into submission...

“If you are afraid, you will be very easy to control.”

He has coined the term, National Panic Syndrome.

For me, this points to a real phenomenon where good people make bad decisions.

But blaming the victims will not bring them onside.

We need to counter fear tactics with compassion and education.

I have a close friend who is a busy executive with 4 kids.

Since lockdown started, she’s been working longer hours from home, while supervising her 2 younger children doing online learning, and also managing a mother with Alzheimer’s who no longer has access to outside services.

How is she supposed to find time to research and disseminate information beyond the mainstream news and public health policies that are supposedly there to protect her family?

I’ve said it before, I am no scientist.

I am here, willing to learn and to educate, and to bridge the gap between those who are courageously leading the way with reason, science, and data, and those who are following misguided policies by reactionary policymakers.

We already know that people are averse to cognitive dissonance.

In other words, we are hard-pressed to take in information contrary to our existing beliefs.

We will not be effective in awakening people to what’s really happening by making them wrong.

What we need is compassion.

We need to keep preaching to the choir, but we also need to connect with those who haven’t yet seen the truth.

If we are to get out of this mess, we will need to create less animosity and help build more bridges.

Ultimately, this isn’t about who is right but about what works.


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