There was a game we played in grade school — Red Rover. The game is played between two lines of players, positioned apart from each other, with hands or arms linked together. The game starts when the first team, calls a player out, by saying or singing a line like “Red rover, red rover, send ‘insert name here’ right over.”
The immediate goal for the person called is to run to the other line and break the other team’s chain (formed by the linking of hands). If the player called fails to break the chain, they have to join that team. However, if the player successfully breaks the chain, they may select either of the broken “links” and take the link to join their team. The game continues until there is just one chain.
Today, it seems we continue to play this game – over and over – never able to successfully make one chain. I’m not saying we should all have the same beliefs in every “game.” But we should be able to come together, in the largest sense. Treat each other with kindness and respect, embrace each other, with all our differences…practice decency.
Decency. It sounds so simple: “Please” and “thank you,” “have a nice day” and “yes, you, too.” But what does it mean to be decent during a pandemic?
In Albert Camus’s The Plague, published in 1947, he writes about a plague outbreak in North Africa. In it, the physician Bernard Rieux says: “There’s no question of heroism in all this. It’s a matter of common decency. That’s an idea which may make some people smile, but the only means of fighting a plague is—common decency.”
I guess there are some lessons we have to learn over and over. But I still believe we can come together. Red Rover, Red Rover…