Letter to the editor: With COVID behind us, maybe we’ll fix other societal problems | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: With COVID behind us, maybe we’ll fix other societal problems

Emmett Bailey

I was told an obscure fable when I started college that goes like this: Long ago, a brave crew cast off for the New World, when pioneers sailed for uncharted waters in small wooden ships. Little was known of the Earth’s expansive frontiers, and this crew was swiftly beset by strife. They were engulfed by the cold sea’s wrath for weeks upon weeks with only growing despair until mercy finally delivered them to an alien coast.

Almost all had been lost, not to mention their food and water. Pallid and drained, they anchored in the mouth of a small river with distant hopes of collecting provisions. Though sheltered from the raging ocean, it was clear their difficulties were not behind them. Scores of fish surrounded them lifeless and belly-up, supposed evidence this water was not safe to drink and the fish unsafe to eat. And so they starved in that bay without the supplies to set sail for hope, clean water or the possibility of improvement.

An angler on the shore eventually discovered the anchored ship and its distress. Rushing to help, the fisher called out, “Cast down your buckets where you are!” The crew was confused at first until they discovered the water was now clear and free of any dead fish. To their surprise, the water was truly clean! They were safe after all, despite their fears!

This story is only a metaphor. It is one of finding solutions in the present, of making the best of what is already given, of finding hope much closer than we all think.

Prospects for COVID-19 seem to be improving, and in doing so returned us to our familiar haunts: climate change, social justice and equity, and economic prosperity. But there’s hope. Maybe we’ll fix those, too.

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