It Is in Giving that We Get
Memorial Day has, as one of its origins, Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Since then, that holiday is when we remember those in our military who gave their lives for our country. We are grateful for their gift to us.
I invented a saying; It is in giving that we get. At the time, that expression just came to me. However, over time, I thought that someone surely came up with a similar idea. It didn’t take but a nanosecond to Google it. St. Francis of Assisi said, “For it is in giving that we receive.” I know that statement when I was in high school but never truly grasped its meaning. When you think about St. Francis’ comment, it sounds like an oxymoron. However, once you truly understand that statement, you will realize that it is the basis of our being.
On Memorial Day, we remember those who gave their lives for us. Interestingly, many of those heroes died knowing that others will benefit from their bravery. Nonetheless, they too benefited, knowing that they did what was necessary to assure our freedom as a nation. It was their ultimate act of love and caring.
That is the backstory. On Memorial Day 2021, America has problems due to COVID-19. Reuters noted, “Airlines have filed about 2,500 unruly-passenger reports with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration this year, including 1,900 reports of passengers not wearing required face masks.” Most of the unruly people were unruly because they didn’t want to wear masks on flights.
Beyond the mask mandate issue, approximately 26% of Americans don’t want to get a vaccine to combat the coronavirus. Essentially, many Americans aren’t going to protect themselves, which also doesn’t protect others. This goes back to my mantra; it is in giving that we get. This is true at multiple levels. If we don’t act to help ourselves, we potentially hurt others if we get COVID-19.
At another level, those who don’t wear masks and get vaccines could wind up hurting and/or killing those reluctant people. The longer it takes to get to herd immunity due to procrastination and indifference to others, the more likely it is that the coronavirus will create more virulent strains of COVID-19.
In the news, doctors talk about new mutations of COVID-19 like the U.K., Brazilian, South African, and CAL.20C variants as if there are only a handful of them. In reality, there are thousands of them out there. Tragically, COVID-19 wants to guarantee its longevity more than many Americans are concerned about their longevity.
At another level, we need to be concerned about getting vaccines to the developing nations to protect them, which protects Americans from a more virulent strain of COVID. It is a no-brainer. COVID-19 didn’t start in America, which is obvious. Yet many Americans aren’t into helping others as if they are impervious to this pandemic.
St. Francis and I have come up with a common mantra. You decide which one you like the best. Either “For it is in giving that we receive,” or “It is in giving that we receive.” When we move from me to we, we all benefit. Both statements are oxymorons, but both statements are the truth. We are in this together.