OPINION

Liked by many, useless to all

liked-by-many-useless-to-all

Those who are indifferent to the spread of Covid-19, either by waging a propaganda war against measures to contain it or by encouraging and taking part in demonstrations, are awfully proud of their rebellious spirit. They persuade themselves that they are the avant-garde, who light the way for everyone else, for those who are subservient to the system and to reality’s demands.

However, having experienced the results of fantasists in power, and seeing the magnitude of the challenges ahead, it is clear that what is lacking from the country is not self-proclaimed heroes but recognition of the invisible army of people who hold society together under the most difficult of conditions, from the economic crisis to the pandemic.

So that something of our everyday lives may be saved in the midst of upheaval and fear, a great number of people show up at work on time, they serve wherever duty or their conscience calls, they pay taxes and social security dues, they take care not to burden others, knowing that life demands generosity and courage in the face of both routine and danger, that we need to help and respect each other, to recognize that dignity and solidarity go hand in hand.

These people are on the front line of every struggle, without honors and privilege, only because they understand that their identity, their sense of belonging, includes not only rights but sacrifices, too. They pay their subway tickets even when no one is checking, they seek the best results even if their efforts go unnoticed, they make sure no Covid vaccines are wasted, they accomplish their mission, they show up when things are tough, they encourage others’ best efforts. They want their children to have a better future, so they worry about present problems.

These people are not an amorphous mass, nor are they angels. We all carry our past, our anxieties, our bitterness and hope. And with these criteria we vote. The real choice, though, is between those who try to build with the difficult material at hand and those who peddle in fantasies, who want to be liked by as many as possible and are useless to all.