IS ONE’S SELF-IMAGE, at least for some, so fragile these days that even a simple act of kindness and concern towards someone other than themselves is now seen as an assault on your Charter rights and a betrayal of political beliefs and one’s tough guy/girl image?
Up until now I had thought of people’s self-absorption as borderline on the mental health scale but for the most part harmless acts that might include: A compulsive urge for endless selfies, social media posts extolling the virtues of me, me, me and an unquenchable thirst for and longing to be constantly recognized and accepted by ‘the group’.
It has changed though, at least for some during these COVID times, and what was once simply odd but acceptable behaviour has now developed into something that seems more a cult of personality. It’s become a blend of political rigidity, narcissism and a F-word you attitude towards everyone and everything.
And that scares me as I naively thought our world was better than that but it isn’t, at least during this pandemic moment in time.
What else can explain a person’s refusal to wear a mask when doing so will cause them no personal harm yet prevent others from dying? And what else can explain a person’s inability to resist urges for the momentary self-gratification of drinking beer at the beach with friends?
Both acts will likely sicken and kill people; maybe enough to even be considered mass murder. Yet despite this potential for carnage, our slow-witted and entitled executioner will claim the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms affords him or her the right to do anything one’s heart desires…including the unremorseful and consequence free desire to kill people.
I mean what human would claim that the democracy our Charter has created and protects, allows them to deliberately risk killing their own granny or grandpa or parents or even strangers, simply to fill an ego vacuum of personal inadequacies.
When people use the right of personal freedom to excuse a selfish act that infringes upon the freedom of everyone else, they demonstrate an entitled and boundless ignorance of what freedom and democracy are actually about.
So put on that mask and I promise I will still think you’re smart, tough, politically capable and wise. But, most importantly, I and everyone else will not remember you as a mass murderer who even killed your grandparents in the name of your personal freedom.
Bill McQuarrie is a former magazine publisher, photojournalist and entrepreneur. Semi-retired and now living in Port McNeill, you can follow him on Instagram #mcriderbc or reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.