Why are people making bad choices?

Well first off one has to look at where they came from.  And from my perspective I can tell you this.  I am not surprised people are not looking beyond their own little worlds.

Our society has developed all sorts of ways to make life easier.  Cut the time down on what needed to be done. Making it easier for one person to do a job so no one ever has to ask someone else for help.  In a lot of cases now to ask for help is to show weakness.  To raise a child they used to say it takes a village but now I would wager most kids spend time with their computers and their friends and take little heed of adults other than their own parents.  “Respect your elders” has fallen to the wayside and has been replaced by “You are not my Father why should I listen to you” “or ok boomer”  It is easy to say these things when you don’t have a connection with anyone who is older. And why do we have less of a connection?  Because often our elders are all lumped together into their own little communities because we just don’t have the time to care for them ourselves.  

The young adults of today were taught by their parents “If you don’t do it yourself it will not get done.” so now instead of asking for help and working together most are doing it alone.  Some are lucky enough to have found a partner to share the load with but still two people doing the work of a village is still taxing and maybe this is part of the reason many relationships fail.

Have you ever heard the saying “The more time saving devices I have the less time I have”  Well that is because there was a time when you would build a fence in a day because all your friends would come over and help. It would be an event.  Everyone would have a hammer and nails they would work together and get it done. Then in the evening there would be music, food and drink to celebrate the success of the project.  But now with power tools (time saving devices) one is compelled to do this project alone.  So instead of taking a day it takes a week.  Sometimes you will have a kind neighbour who will help with the cost and the work but more often than not they will sit in their house saying “look dear we are getting a new fence”  I have used this example as I have built many fences myself and only once did an adjoining neighbour offer assistance.  However not once feel comfortable asking for help from those neighbours.  

Now that being said the few times I did ask people to help me with a project they were most often glad to oblige as humans deep down want that connection.  We want to be of use.  But I still felt guilt for asking for help and I did as much of the work as possible before they arrived.  When I built my shed I asked a couple of my friends to come and help me but before they arrived I built the frame and floor where the shed would be going.  I built all the walls on the ground so all they would have to do is flip up the walls and screw them together then attach the frame for the roof.  I even pre painted one of the walls that would be hard to paint once up. Everything I could do on my own I did. It took me 2 days to prepare. The guys came over and it took us under an hour to put the walls in place and attach the roof beams.  I had beer and snacks but they stayed only for one and were off to their next thing.  People are busy after all.  This added to my guilt as I did not feel that one beer was enough for all the work they had helped me to achieve.  So the next project I was even more inclined to do it myself.

Most people now would much rather pay to have someone else do a project for them, than to ask their community for assistance.  Because 1. “Who has the time” and 2. “I don’t want to owe anyone.”  We are in a world of timesaving devices with no time.

Now fast forward to where we are now.  We all have time and people are losing their minds.  This is an unknown concept to most.  Some are spending more time with their families and loving it, others are breaking as 24/7 with the same people is hard. Some are alone and enjoying the solitude and some are going stir crazy. Some are scared for themselves or their loved ones and some who have not been directly affected  by the virus are saying things like “It is like the Flu” and making references to the economy or saying “We are fine here”  But when you create a secular society to the extreme of making people feel weak when they cannot “do it all” you cannot be surprised when they get frustrated when they are not allowed “to do it all”  When you create a society where people need to “look out for number one” you cannot be surprised when they are not looking beyond their little bubble.  Until people are directly affected by this they really do not fully have the concept of how bad it could be.  And this is not because they are bad people, it is how they have been trained to live.  We all had a hand in the place we are today.  No one likes to be told what to do and change is not easy.  So the government passing laws so quickly to keep society safe is not very comfortable to many people out there.  There is so much judgement right now of different leaders doing things differently.  And no one wants to be told what to do. Because we have been brought up to take control of our own destiny.

Now as I write this I acknowledge that I was one of the denyers when this all started.  I strongly wanted life to continue forward as my life was finally on a path I felt was right for me.  Five days before Merida was closed for business we had one of our Hash gatherings where we would wander the streets of Merida following a trail to a local watering hole.  Then go back to someone’s house to drink beer and sing songs. We were a group of about 25.  Most of my friends here in Merida are between the ages of 50 to 70.  Very odd that I am the kid of the group. It was a glorious evening. Then one day before the city was put on lock down my band Los Similares was booked to be the headliner at a festival celebrating Woodstock.  There were about 80 people at this show. We rocked the Croc. People were laughing and dancing. I received my last hug there.  The next day I got sick.  As more and more information came out I was wondering “do I have it?” and then “could I have given it to any of my friends” and then “what if I have killed one of my friends.” This was a horrifying thought. I went to the doctor and got bloodwork and x rays and they told me it was bronchitis.  However from this I realized the importance of being careful. Not to protect myself but to protect my people.  But that being said… I was directly affected.  And I am now thinking about how best to protect MY people. We all have our people and we all are making choices in ways that directly affect our people from the experiences we have obtained because that is how we have been trained.  To take care of ourselves and our people with the information we have gathered from our experiences.  To be strong and do it ourselves.  



And this brings me to the internet debates that are getting harsher and harsher.  People are going to make choices right now that you may not agree with and preaching at them will not change their minds.  Calling them names will likely make them double down.  Creating a divide with your fellow humans is not the way.  Sadly people will make wrong choices.  We all do. It is part of being human.  You will likely make a wrong choice today yourself.  But I challenge you to not berate someone who is making a choice other than your own.  You may feel your choice is the only sane and responsible choice while the person across from you may think their choice is the only one that will work. Remember your world is different from theirs. If you feel strongly, state your position in a way that is productive.  Engage in a productive debate with a mind open to seeing the other side.  What is the outcome you are looking for?  What is the best way to achieve that outcome?  Calling people names will achieve nothing.  

 If you look on the internet to find a “fact” that agrees with your opinion you WILL find it.  No matter what your opinion is.  In this scenario there is quite a bit of conflicting information that actually still could be “fact”  but this is because this is not a “is the dress yellow or blue” it is a virus that is changing daily. There are different things that work and then don’t work and we are learning all of them.  And some of the things we do now to battle this virus may make people sick in the long run.  We will not know that outcome until we are there. The  facts, like the virus, are changing daily.  So people are making choices as best they can.

And sure, there are the nutters doing nutty things that were always there doing those nutty things and we have always just tried to steer clear of them.  So my advice is just to try and steer clear of those folks.  Calling them out will only give them the attention they want.  Again, just my opinion, but everyone will make their own choice.

Here is a thought if we only gave attention to the people doing positive things then maybe the attention grabber nutters would start doing positive things. I mean it works with dogs. But I digress. 

I remember years ago reading an article about the leatherback turtles. They were protected by the government and it carried a serious fine if you were caught harvesting the eggs because they were endangered. I was horrified to find out that people were still doing it. I could not understand why someone would choose to make a living that way.  The article told me why. It was because selling one egg on the black market could feed a man’s starving family for a month. The man’s quote went something like this “I love the turtles but if I have to choose between my family and the turtles I will choose my family every time.” A human should never have to choose between what they believe is right and feeding their children. This is what today’s world has created.  A society where some are demanding their rights to wander the streets unmasked carrying guns while others are struggling with impossible choices to keep their children fed. 

I feel strongly that although this is likely going to be one of the hardest years in all of our lives it is also an opportunity to change the world for the better.  We can fight to try and get our old lives back. (which in my opinion will never really happen) or we can forge a new path that will take the power away for the 1% by making human connection and our environment more important than time saving trinkets.  We can look at how quickly the environment has started thriving again without having to battle human consumption and construct a new path that includes that information in the forging of it.  We can realize that it is ok to slow down and enjoy our people.  Maybe companies can realize that paying their employees enough that they only have to work 4 day weeks makes sense.  You should not be working more than you are living in my opinion.  But then, again, that is just my opinion.

Take some of your newly found time to really find out what YOUR opinion is. Don’t read it on the internet and recycle dogma. Think about it. Look at your environment and your family.  What makes you truly happy.  You might find out it is easier than you thought to achieve a joyful state of mind.  Think about how to maintain that happiness once the wheels of the world start turning again.  And maybe things will turn out better than we all could have ever imagined. 

Ellen Carol



Happiness is a choice