Living with caring and courage, not fear


Living with caring and courage, not fear

We can all agree that we have not been in this predicament before.

Since March we have been experiencing a double-barreled challenge:  Covid-19 and our governor's orders.

Both challenges are best addressed with care and with courage, but while keeping fear in check.

Caring: Our caring needs to be directed at least as much to the well-being of those around us as to ourselves.  In the case of Covid this means more than the new cautionary practices. Healthy living requires a balance of many things that include relational, emotional, financial, spiritual, physical, etc.  All of us fall short.

In the case of our governor's orders, our caring is best reflected in respecting his difficult position while also addressing the good, the bad and the ugly in these orders.

Courage is called for in dealing both with the threat of Covid and the orders' impacts.  It is impossible to meaningfully care for those around us without courage.

It takes courage to face a virus that behaves so unpredictably -- sometimes with no symptoms or those of a mild cold and at other times with a fury that approaches death's door. While we have learned about this virus and how to better deal with it in the past nine months, much of what we think we know is awash in the many conflicting opinions of what is verifiable fact.

It also takes courage to face orders that have gone far, far beyond focusing on outbreak in specific locations and with specific people. Our state executive branch is constitutionally out of bounds in the scope of its orders.  In addition, our state executive is out of bounds in using various laws to order every living Ohioan, either directly or by implication.  These laws were not intended to be used in these ways.

It will take courage for our state legislative branch, and possibly or state courts, to exercise the check and balance that is their duty to exercise.  It is unfortunate that those branches have not yet risen to this challenge.

Fear is a powerful thing.  At its best it protects life.  At its worst it cripples our effectiveness in caring for ourselves and those around us.  Fear works against relational courage and caring. 

Unfortunately, fear has been the tool our executive has been using very effectively to gain and maintain an excessive level of control over the peoples of this state. I am confident that this is well-meaning.  But fear tactics need to be replaced with courageous guidance, positive peer pressure, as well as respect for our constitution and laws that limit government's power.

Our challenge is to govern our lives as individuals, families and organizations with caring and courage, while keeping fear in check.