Think about it—stuff, material stuff, is on sale, and we are willing to line up for hours in the freezing cold for those items that we do not need to survive, but we clearly want. I am not saying there is anything wrong with those items or in wanting or possessing those items. To each their own, and you are not a bad person just because you spend a year planning how to secure your spot in line to land the deals on Black Friday.
Yet why aren’t people willing to line up for hours in the freezing cold for the things we, in some cases, need to survive and thrive?
Let’s examine our priorities.
Various medical agencies offer free clinics and workshops and seminars geared toward educating the public about its health, touching on topics ranging from cancer to diabetes to obesity to exercise. I don’t see anyone lining up hours for these free educational experiences that could save people’s lives, or at the very least considerably improve their health.
In fact, there are often many empty seats at such events.
Various agencies, including mental health and organizations that work with the disabled, hold events that touch on stigma, disabilities, mental illness, mental health, family support and more. These events provide valuable information that in some cases is vital to a healthy, functioning society, information that could alleviate much pain and suffering and improve the quality of life for so many people and answer an array of questions for individuals in desperate need of such answers, and I am not just speaking about the individuals afflicted and their families.
No lines for these free events. No folding chairs and coffee and music players for entertainment while waiting in line. In fact, individuals holding these events are often quite pleased if at least a dozen people show up.
Stephen Bartlett may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org