“Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God’s Law and Prophets and this is what you get” Matthew 7:12 (The Message)
The other day I was thinking about wearing masks, and why that action seems to spark some emotional reactions in people. Scientists tell us that there is value in wearing masks, and that it cuts down the opportunity of spreading the Coronavirus, depending on the quality of the mask. As we begin to open up the economy, and we certainly need to, it seems that wearing masks would just enhance the safety of that plan.
However I understand that with everything, there are several aspects of our nature in play. We are physical, spiritual, and emotional in our make-up. We therefore need to pay attention to all these parts of us as we make decisions.
For me, I believe in the safety of wearing a mask when I am interacting in a store. I also believe that all behavior is communication, so when I wear a mask, I am making a statement. I am saying by modeling mask wearing, that this is a reasonable thing, and I endorse the idea.
In my own mind, I also see the spiritual aspect of this. I am helping to protect others. I am doing unto others as I would have them do unto me. The mask is not perfect protection for me, but it is helpful to others.
I know that there are emotional arguments by some that perhaps contend that “nobody is going to tell me what to do”; or “this is government overreach”; or “that is a political statement”; or “I’m not sick, I don’t need to mask”. I am sure there are other emotional reasons that people have that result in them deciding not to mask. Who knows, maybe they just forgot to wear it.
I understand also that there is a small percentage of people who cannot wear masks for other reasons- they feel suffocated perhaps, or simply have such negative physical or psychological reactions that they feel too uncomfortable to wear a mask.
Whatever the reasons of others, I plan to typically wear a mask in stores because I believe that there is collective benefit in that behavior.
When we can change the narrative about a behavior, we can make it more acceptable. If we can believe that wearing a mask is good for others, and that it is also good for the nation’s commerce, that may increase the percentage of people who wear masks.
Wearing a mask is not a political statement, it is a caring statement. I wear a mask because I trust that it helps others. I hope others wear one because I believe it helps me.
Prayer: Thank you for the divine plan that we are to care for one another, Amen