MARK GEVISSER: If we are essentially ‘good’, how do we act accordingly?
Coronavirus has sharpened our need to be our best selves, but what does this mean outside of volunteering at a soup kitchen?
As with many of you reading these words, I felt compelled to act when the lockdown came. It is not as if I had been blind, previously, to our country’s inequality — although I customarily blinded myself on a daily basis, looking determinedly at my steering wheel while waiting for the light to turn so as to avoid a needy eye, or away from the daily news broadcasts of political protest and violent crime seeded by poverty. But suddenly the hunger of others seemed intolerable. Perhaps this was because we were “all in it together”, all suffering and fearful in our own ways, as if in wartime, even if my loss was only that of the freedom of movement. Perhaps it was because the comfort of my own lockdown made my perception of the discomfort of others that much sharper.
At first it was personal. I thought of those who work for me. I reached out to the Zimbabwean men who built my house, and whom I knew would be out of work and without access to the relief promised by our government to S...