We can overcome evil with the greater good. — Laura Bush
The greater good. What is the greater good? I don’t think there’s a lot of answers that come to mind, maybe because there is no context. Or maybe because, we probably don’t know what good is, hence a greater version of it is a bit unimaginable. One thing is certain though, Laura Bush, from her quote believes that evil can be overcome with the greater good.
We don’t hear it a lot unless you watch a lot of movies centered around governments and international relations. It is in those contexts that the phrase comes alive. You hear things like, ‘it is for the greater good.’ I’m pretty sure China’s government concerning this current pandemic or even before it became a pandemic had a run-in with the phrase.
I think one of the things we don’t appreciate or we fail to take into consideration is the position of world leaders. We vastly underestimate what it means to be in a position of authority and leadership. We’ve seen it here. People who spoke for the people and did all that was necessary for the good of the people, only to be elevated and become the scum that they were fighting against.
A conversation with a group of people brought this idea to the fore, which confirmed the idea; that we only look at things from our perspective never realizing that there’s always another side, another decision, another win or lose scenario yet to be explored.
So let’s talk about China. China had the blessed opportunity to play host to the coronavirus, natively, at Wuhan. Now if we all had the opportunity to see the world as it is now and its state, for a brief period, and we were allowed to go back to that moment when Wuhan had it, what would you have moved them to do?
It’s two things, and there will always be two things; the first, containment. Contain hopes that it does not spread. That’s from a genuine place, guided by a moral code. It’s seeing the disaster ahead and choosing to have hope in the situation even though you know the risks.
And the risk is, you can try and contain the virus and probably end up with a pandemic on your hands. Now people might argue it out, but if a man comes from a place of morals, it’s hard for him to change his mind. Remember, it is essentially leveling a small place in China as opposed to the whole world. The second choice is grim, eradication. Completely obliterate the place of origin and clear it off the map.
The casualty stays with just the unfortunate people of Wuhan and if it works, the world will be a safer place. Now you can battle these two points out, but I ask you, do they not both seem like viable solutions?
The risk with the former is that well, you risk a pandemic, because what if you try to contain it and it doesn’t work? The risk with the latter is that human life will be lost, it’s not even an argument. But it gets scarier because what if you eradicate the problem, and it comes back stronger to haunt the world? Then the lives of people would be upon your head.
My question? How do people even sleep with these kinds of decisions to be made? About human life, and the consequences that might come as a result of them? How you have to live with the sins and the conscience that a decision you are making might end the world or end a life.
It is brutal. The phrase, greater good, is one we should all start getting used to, because the assumption that people ought to make the decisions we think are right without taking into consideration their position or the prospect of their options and the pressure coming in from all sides is unfair, especially in situations like this, whether or not they had a hand in the virus is only a conspiracy, but it doesn’t take away from the decisions to be made in circumstances. Offer people grace before you jump to judging them.