Only one option

Day 49. Among the “casualties” of the Covid-19 pandemic are graduations and commencement exercises. The Wall Street Journal published several commencement messages to graduates in its weekend edition. I found them quite thoughtful. The following are excerpts from a commencement message from Bill and Melinda Gates.

Think about your own role, however, large or small, in making the world a better place for everyone….

It is true that you are entering this phase of your life in a daunting time….

But there is no question that you have a role to play, whether that’s now or in the future. You inherit a world that has already proven that progress is possible – a world that has rebuilt after war, vanquished smallpox, fed a growing population and enabled more than a billion people to climb out of extreme poverty.

That progress didn’t happen by accident or fate. It was the result of people just like you who made a commitment that whatever else they did with their lives and careers, they would contribute to this shared mission of propelling us all forward. Class of 2020, these are not easy times. But we will get through them. And with your leadership, the world will be stronger than ever.

Wall Street Journal May 2-3 , 2020

If there is one glaring lesson which Covid-19 is teaching mankind in real time it is this: We are all connected. We are all dependent on one another – for good and for bad.

We can infect each other and transmit disease to each other. Or we can protect each other from disease.

We can ignore the suffering of another human being. Or we can care for people in need.

We can live our lives selfishly. Or we can use the life and opportunities we have been given to help others.

How can anyone living through this pandemic not recognize that there is really only one option?

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