Responsibility and my brother's keeper

We normally associate the word "responsibility" with big decisions, and yet sometimes responsibility is about the small, day-to-day things we do. The Bible tells us that after killing his brother Abel, Cain is confronted by God, who ask him "where is your brother?".

Did God really need to ask the question? If we go by Biblical belief, God already knew. What was then the point of the question? The point was to give Cain the opportunity to take responsibility for his actions. Responsibility is an opportunity to accept what we do and to learn from our mistakes. When we reject responsibility, we reject our opportunity to be more than we are, to learn from our mistakes.

Unfortunately, the current situation gives us many opportunities to learn, to assume responsibility. It offers us the opportunity to understand that our actions or inactions affect not only ourselves but others as well. The CDC recommends that people wear masks and keep social distance whenever practical. They recommend it out of respect for our freedoms and our rights, enshrined in our Constitution. The CDC recognizes that if people do not accept the need to follow the recommendations, they cannot force them.

Compare that to other societies. In China, the government orders people what to do and people do it out of fear. In Argentina, the government lays out the rules - if you re in the street without a valid reason, you go to jail and/or pay a stiff fine; if you are a doctor, your salary is reduced by 12 % but if you complain you will be punished. Sometimes we forget that we live in the freest society in the world, with all the good and bad that comes with it. 

In our society the government cannot force you to do things, but it tells you the reasons for the request and tells you the consequences of not following the recommendations. The decision is yours. Yet if we fail to follow recommendations, we endanger not only ourselves but those around us. In spite of all that, people still go into stores without a mask, and refuse to keep their distance. Some do it because they believe the problem is not theirs, others because they think it is OK if they don't do it too much... but it all comes down to the fact that they don't care about others as much as they care for themselves.

Yet Jewish tradition tells us that with freedom comes responsibility, When Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden fruit, they were expelled from Eden because with the knowledge they acquired came freedom and responsibility. It was not a punishment, but the consequence of their own actions. Unfortunately, not living up to our responsibilities as free individuals in the current circumstances, brings consequences not to ourselves but to others.

WHEN YOU GO INTO A STORE, WEAR A MASK - KEEP 6 FT DISTANCE FROM OTHERS WHENEVER PRACTICAL. It is not just about yourself!

STAY SAFE - STAY HEALTHY - STAY CONNECTED

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