More than 550 million Americans are currently homeless. Just stop and think about that for a minute. Nearly two out of every thousand. Of course, if you live in New York or Los Angeles or Seattle or any other major metro area, you just have to look up; there are homeless all around you… under bridges, inside tents, over grates, living in boxes.
Don’t even get me started on the 43.5 million Americans living in poverty.
But, hey, great news: If you managed to survive COVID, you can now receive a check for up to $1,400 that you can invest in the stock market through Robinhood! Or you can buy food and pay your rent for a month. Or if you are homeless, you can just continue like nothing happened.
I love, love, love this country. But I hate, hate, hate the way we talk about fixing things and NEVER make any measurable progress. We are a giant, meandering, rudderless boat.
Consider that COVID helped us to do more in one year than we accomplished in the past 60 years. Overnight we began working from home (those of us who have one). Virtually every company in the nation went digital (or out of business). Air and water pollution plummeted (thanks to those of us who stayed home). We found multiple vaccines to cure a deadly disease (or at least slow it down). We masked up, socially distanced and washed our hands (or we risked death). The stock market recovered from the depths of depression in March 2020 to the heights of growth in December 2020 making money for everyone (unless you had your money in a CD).
Meanwhile, we also suffered through an endless election year that addressed the same issues we’ve been dealing with since John F. Kennedy took office in 1961. The seemingly endless battleground on which we bleed for Equality/Equity, Diversity & Inclusion… universal healthcare… equal education… minimum wage… and yes, homelessness. But we never see any meaningful movement forward.
It is the same old, same old, same old. It’s like a bad episode of LOST; an endless loop from which we cannot escape. And why?
Clearly COVID showed us what we are capable of achieving. This nasty human-killing disease awoke the best in us and brough us together by separating us. Meanwhile, the Federal government continues to do what it has always done… lead us in circles, sprinkling stimulus checks from helicopters.
I am not advocating civil unrest, but I do encourage every human being of every age, shape, color, size, race, religion, whatever, to stop and assess where we are – not just as a country, but as a civilization. And realize that we are always capable of doing more and doing better. Do not settle for less than great. And please, please, please, let’s not wait for the next pandemic to make progress.