When you point a finger, remember there are three fingers pointing right back at you.
That’s a little nugget of wisdom I picked up from Coach Dail Smith back in the day. It’s solid advice and packed with truth. I wanted to write a post about our collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States but just couldn’t find the right approach or the right words until I turned to one of my favorite scenes from A Christmas Story.
Sure, there’s been a lack of top-down leadership across the nation with an inconsistent and often confusing response but only pointing fingers doesn’t do anybody any good. In the end, it all goes back to the Coach Smith-ism and remembering there are three fingers pointing back at each of us. We haven’t responded well at all to the coronavirus. We’ve overreacted, underreacted, and just plain ignored the fact each of us as citizens needed to take some responsibility in the coronavirus response.
Our general response as Americans has been the “Ralphie Response”. An uncomfortable situation stares us in the face and yet when the bell rings, we chose to ignore everything in front of us because “The bell rang!” We rushed to resume the routine instead of just dealing with the problem and then resuming our regular routines.
Hopefully, we learn from our mistakes now that we understand a pandemic is indeed possible in the United States. Hopefully, we react better the next time our great nation faces a threat.
Look out for each other.
Try not to point fingers.
Or stick your tongue to a frozen pole.