My pastor scolded me about 15 years ago for not wearing a bike helmet as I was riding my bike around Clarion. “Steve”, said Pastor Chuck, “you are a leader and therefore an example in Clarion for good behavior and you should be wearing a helmet. You are not sending the right message.” I was at first taken back, then I was angry for getting scolded and then I thought “well, he’s right - I’m not setting a good example.” I’ve revisited this episode a lot of times over the years.
I’m human though*. Even though I would love to be the pinnacle of health - working out, eating salads, perfect weight … I’m not there. Do I use sunscreen always? Hmmm, not always or effectively. Do I mask all the time? No. Should I eat better, apply sunscreen effectively and mask appropriately, all the time, everywhere, regardless -- because I am a leader and example? Yes, because if I don’t, I am saying … by my actions … that it doesn’t matter.
It’s known that if you eat clean and exercise regularly and keep your weight in a good place, you will be healthier. Skin cancer is no joke and with appropriate application of sunscreen, it can be avoided. And if we all wore our masks - everyone - and followed the advice to avoid high risk situations, we can collectively stem the tide of the pandemic. Yes, we have individual rights - but we also have a collective responsibility to society to be a good citizen. I have a right to not wear a helmet on my bike but when I fly off and get head trauma and am an expensive ward of the state because I’m brain damaged … or if I’m unknowingly positive with Covid19 and I exercise my right to not wear a mask and infect everyone …
It’s not that hard, just do it.
*I’m far from perfect. Please remind me and hold me accountable when I’m not being a good example.