My friends abroad message me daily, sometimes poking fun at something that’s come out of Donald Trump’s mouth during one of his many unhinged moments– and other times sending me a link to a story they think I might find interesting.
The overarching theme these days coming from abroad has been the perceived lack of humanity of the American nation which values the dollar over human life.
“How has your nation sunk to such lows?” one friend from Greece asked me after sending me Donald Trump’s latest interview with ABC News where he said “Will some people be affected badly? Yes. But we have to get our country open and we have to get it open soon.”
I’ve spent hours struggling with this, too.
I, too, have lost 90% of my income and am trying to figure out how my business will survive, wondering how I’m going to pay rent next month. I, too, miss my friends and want to see them and hug them. I, too, am worried about the future of the non-profit organization I founded over a decade ago whose lifeline of support has run dry but its operating expenses continue to pile up. I’ve been forced to launch a GoFundMe campaign to help keep it afloat.
I’ve even lapsed a few times— frustrated and even angry— saying to myself “enough is enough.”
But then I thought back at the video of Greece’s chief coronavirus specialist Sotiris Tsiodras, who broke down in tears in front of the entire nation during one of his daily briefings when he reminded Greeks that yes, we are making a fuss about this but that fuss is about human life and in particular, the life of our parents and grandparents.
Because next year, we want them with us, Tsiodras said.
“They are grandmothers and grandfathers. We honor them and we respect them all. We protect them— especially them. We cannot exist, nor have an identity without these people.”
Tsiodras reminded everyone watching what “humanity” meant. That it wasn’t about the individual anymore, but something much bigger. It was about our identity.
And thankfully— despite what the president and other political leaders of the nation might be saying, the vast majority of America agrees.
I’ve been busy today sending texts to my foreign friends who have been lamenting the great American decline, telling them about the results of a new public opinion poll that were released.
According to a new poll by Ipsos and ABC News, Americans, by a large 30-point margin, are resistant to re-opening the country now, believing the risk to human life of opening the country outweighs the economic toll of remaining under restrictive lockdowns.”
In another poll by Pew Research, more than two-thirds of respondents said that they were more concerned that state governments might reopen their economies too quickly.
I think these poll numbers speak for the humanity of the vast majority of this nation. I hate generalizations but I think it’s safe to say that, regardless of what the president of the United States and other “leaders” may be saying, these polls by Ipsos and Pew (two of the most accurate and reputable polling companies in the world) speak for the heart, soul— and humanity of America.
It is a reminder that the United States of America — or any nation on earth for that matter — isn’t always defined or represented by the people leading the nation but by the values of her people.
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