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No, We're Not "In This Together"

The view from the deck : )

The view from the deck : )

I hear it all the time these days, during the Great Lock-down: “We’re in this together”. No, we’re not. We just simply aren’t.

I started thinking about this half way through April when I read an article by ABC News, stating that: “New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Wednesday that she, along with her cabinet ministers and public service chief executives, would take a 20% pay cut to show solidarity with those economically impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.”

Well, that is at least a nice gesture of solidarity with the general public, I thought to myself. Let’s see how our politicians would react to such news. So, I wrote to the Finance Minister for my province (Ontario) and I wrote to the Federal Finance Minister, asking them to do what the Prime Minister and other Ministers in New Zealand have done: take a temporary pay-cut, like most people.

Nothing. I got nothing back. All I hear are crickets. Asking most politicians to take a pay-cut is like asking most drug-dealers to stop selling drugs: it ain’t gonna happen. Or, the chances are very, very small. I mean, I did not even get some standard, robotic reply back, as one might usually get from politicians in reply to one’s concerns.

We have to be honest though: we are not in this together. I was lounging on a dock, catching sun-rays at a cottage a few days ago. I actually fell asleep and got pretty roasted. Other than that, I fed a chipmunk all sorts of nuts, mango, strawberries and I fed sunflower seeds to a pair of black-capped chickadees. I barbequed some chicken and trout, slept in my tent next to the cottage because why not? I could do whatever I wanted: canoe, hike, fish, sleep, eat, all whenever I felt like it. You know how the neighbor in the next bay gets to his cottage? I mean castle, sorry. He lands his hydroplane on the lake and parks it next to the garage for his boats. Haha … yes, we’re in this together … sure.

I’m pretty much enjoying myself, while nurses and doctors are putting their lives at risk every single day, working in hospitals. I am having quite a decent time while many people are out of jobs and are desperately trying to find ways to pay their mortgage/rent, support their children and not end-up on the street. How are we in this together? Not by miles.

I actually hiked about 13 miles yesterday. It was great. How many other people had a main concern yesterday of: which way should I hike now? That was my biggest concern for the entire day. Haha!! I’m alright, no worries about me.

Not long ago, I saw an interview with Ricky Gervais responding to what exercise he’s been getting during this pandemic and part of his response was: “We play badminton in the garden, see we’ve got a garden, I can’t complain, there’s some people in high-rises with three kids. That’s why millionaires in their mansions, having a swim and going to their own gym, shouldn’t lecture normal people”. The same goes for many self-righteous politicians. Just be quiet on telling people: “we’re in this together”. No we’re not. It’s a farce and I for one refuse to engage in it.

I just can’t keep seeing these “we’re all in this together” signs everywhere and play along. I am highly allergic to hypocrites and I do not appreciate anyone being misguided either. We have to break through the façade.

Even though we’re not in this together: please be safe, take care of yourself and all the best to everyone!

Ricky Gervais: 'Millionaires shouldn't lecture normal people'


Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on October 19, 2020:

Good to see You drop-by, Mr. Hansen.

I am happy You are doing alright during these times. May the Gods continue to be kind to You and la familia. I am grateful to be doing alright as well.

Others though, are having extremely tough times nowadays and I still do not appreciate this "we're in it together" nonsense which I continue to hear people talking about (mostly politicians to be honest). We simply are not and that realization should make us also change our behavior in terms of how our societies deal with old folks homes, with homelessness, mental illness and many other things. The holes in our societies and political systems are evident now.

I can go on for days on this, haha!! I'll stop.

Thank You once again for the visit and the comment and regarding that other piece of writing that got moved, I am sort of glad it did. That story is better without any further comments, in my opinion. I'm somewhat surprised myself that I actually wrote it and posted it. Haha!!

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on October 19, 2020:

Me Happy, I am glad I read this article. Finally someone saying it like it really is, ”We are not in this together.” Jacinta Ahern, the New Zealand Prime Minister has been at the forefront and received lots of praise for her handling of the pandemic. Accepting a wage cut for her and her ministers a decent gesture to make to the people, but as you found there are not many politicians who will agree to follow her lead.

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It is great for the rich and famous to post videos of how tough they are doing it locked down in their mansions etc. But it is good to see some celebrities like Ricky Gervais say it like it really is.

In Australia, especially the northern states like mine, Queensland and the Northern Territory and Western Australia, have been less affected by the virus then most others, thanks to tough border closures, but even in saying that we have had lockdowns. Though my wife and I have hardly missed beat, we have gone about our lives virtually as normal. We are not into the social scene and partying etc. We missed visiting our children in other towns for a few months and eating at our favourite cafe but that is about it.

We have enjoyed extra time together and got so many more things done at home that we would not have normally completed. I have had more writing work than I have ever had. A lot of requests for writing about Covid-19, safety measures, and educational material for children, probably due to having to study at home and teachers having to provide online teaching.

But there are others out there without work, getting into huge debt because of lack of income, and very depressed by their lack of social contact. So, no, we are not all in this together.

Good article. Oh, I was going to read a different article by you but it had been moved to Letterpile so I could not comment. I chose this instead.

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on August 06, 2020:

Thank You, Mr. Bhatt. I am happy You enjoyed the read. Stay safe and all the best!

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on August 04, 2020:

Nice. A thought provoking article.

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on August 01, 2020:

Sigh ... it is like a bad dream indeed.

Our government is far from perfect and has also made mistakes but it seems that here people are more willing to listen to health officials, which I appreciate.

Thank You for stopping-by and leaving a comment, Mr. Guzman. I do wish You all the best! Stay safe as well.

Angel Guzman from Joliet, Illinois on July 31, 2020:

Stay as safe as you can Mr. Happy. Its a very challenging time right now worldwide. I'm glad has a smart responsible government that your covid-19 cases are low. Here it is an utter embarrassment our President and his administration. It's like a bad dream.

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on July 11, 2020:

Thank You for the visit and for the kind words, Mrs. Poulsen. May we all find the help we are looking for in times of need.

All the best to You - stay safe!

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on July 11, 2020:

I agree with you wholeheartedly. And I love your social distancing method. We all have unique difficulties facing us. Just, some have more difficulty and some have less.

greg cain from Moscow, Idaho, USA on June 10, 2020:

Thanks, and cheers to you also.

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on June 09, 2020:

Thank You for your comment, Mr. Cain.

Yes, from an existential perspective, we are in this together but it ends there, haha!!

I am happy You enjoyed the piece of writing. Have a great week ahead - cheers!

greg cain from Moscow, Idaho, USA on June 08, 2020:

This is a great piece, Mr. Happy. You and Ricky both make an outstanding point of this, one my wife has said time and again, "we have more than many, and we will be fine." Indeed, access to food, shelter, clean water and unlimited information via the internet is more than many, if not more than most. I guess the most truth we can universally share is that we are here and now together during this time. What this time feels like, though, is different for all of us: I am comfortable in my home, some are in a cottage, on a yacht, in a plane bound for a south pacific island, on a street corner under a piece of cardboard, all huddled in a one room flat with spouse and kids, in a shelter near the abbey, at the YMCA, sleeping in the doorway of a boarded-up small business. That is anything but a common experience we are all going through.

Who doesn't love Ricky Gervais for putting it all into perspective?

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on June 05, 2020:

Hello again Mrs. Sue.

I suppose You are sort of re-living the 1960s: protests, space-shuttles taking off, corrupt president, impeachment ... a lot of the things are repeating themselves but I feel that we are closer to solving many of our problems. I'm an optimist.

And having been a history major once, I do realize that social change often takes a long time, decades even. It was a such for women to get the right to vote, or for African Americans, or Natives ...we've gotten better but there's a lot of work to be done still.

You have a joyful weekend considering the circumstances and stay safe. Cheers!

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on June 05, 2020:

Thank You for the visit and comment, Mrs. Westwood.

If You have not seen Ricky Gervais' Golden Globes participation this year, You should. It was quite the thing. (I don;t want to spoil anything if You have not seen it.)

All the very best!

Sustainable Sue from Altadena CA, USA on June 04, 2020:

To clarify—my photo is a younger photo. I'm 70 years old, have served in the Peace Corps twice, and feel like I can be more effective in writing than out in the streets these days. Somebody has to create a vision that benefits everyone (like you are) or there will be nowhere to go after the street protests are over.

I thought I was one who would, but I'm letting my angst about conflicts in the streets distract me too much from writing about what I've learned in life and where I think we can go with our society. You and the street protests are motivating me to do better.

Liz Westwood from UK on June 03, 2020:

You make a very fair point in this article. Interesting also to see a quote from Ricky Gervais.

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on June 03, 2020:

Mr. Wesman, thank You for the visit and the comment.

I never really paid much attention to Mr. Ricky Gervais until that speech but wasn't he so right indeed?

"Apple roared into the tv game with a morning show, a superb drama about the importance of dignity and doing the right thing, made by a company that runs sweat shops in China. So, You say You woke but the companies You work for, I mean unbeliveable: Apple, Amazon, Disney. If ISIS started a streaming service, You'd call your agent. Wouldn't You? So, if You do win an award tonight, please don't use it as a platform to make a political speach, right? You're in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of You spend less time in school than Greta Thunberg. So, if You win, right? Come up, accept your little award, thank your agent and your God and fuck off" - Ricky Gervais, Golden Globes, 2020

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on June 03, 2020:

Thank You for your comment, Mr. Jasper.

"And, like you, we are not among those who are all in this together, but it is beginning to feel a little bit like it now." - I have a feeling more and more people will start feeling the pinch as the year goes on.

There will be nearly no tourism this year all around the world. People are wary and anxious so spending is and will be down ... we never fully recovered from the 2009 financial melt-down and now this. It's going to be a rough ride for a while I'd say.

Be safe and all the best!

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on June 03, 2020:

I appreciate your prayers Mr. Manatita. We need all the good Intent we can get now; to build anew.

All the best!

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on June 03, 2020:

Hello Mrs. Norton,

Yes, we are extremely lucky to be able to get away and spent safe time in Nature at this point, when the majority of people are struggling, one way, or another.

Thank You for your comment and best of luck!

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on June 03, 2020:

Hi, Mr. Happy. Like you, I was in our cottage last weekend and thought of how lucky I was to get away from the city and be with Nature. Looking at the lake in front of me, I felt bad for the people who have to go to the streets because they feel they are not heard and are discriminated against. I can't really blame the elected officials. I look inside of me and ask what am I doing? I can do much more.

Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on June 02, 2020:

I suppose that in 2020 there are many Americans who would willingly opt for socialism. Right now even Sharia Law sounds better than lawlessness? Not too long ago my wife went for a stroll in Singapore and was told "Don't worry. The law is strict here. A person who steals even $5 will have their hand cut off. It works!" Like you, our small health store hadn't had its front windows smashed and a year's hard work has not be stolen. And, like you, we are not among those who are all in this together, but it is beginning to feel a little bit like it now.

manatita44 from london on June 02, 2020:

Yes, Bro,

I wish you well. I have written so much about America's Light ... her good men and women of the past, in both poetry and prose. My teacher was even more optimistic and went much further.

Please forgive me, but I keep seeing that the news is not too good, that some kind of vision is needed, included in a whole new mix of prayer and Love.

As always, in my thoughts and prayers ... in my Soul, I'm offering my Heart. God is always merciful. Praise be!

Wesman Todd Shaw from Kaufman, Texas on June 02, 2020:

I do very much admire Ricky Gervais. I honestly know next to nothing about the man, but I saw that speech where he called the Hollywood communists a bunch of perverts, and he called Apple, with the CEO sitting right there - a slaver corporation.

I couldn't possibly respect someone more than I do when I see that. Like Jesus of the Gospels, he called out the rich elite for being the disgusting freaks that they are.

Mad respect.

The Prime Minister of Canada is a pedophile. What else would I be, were several of my very closest friends arrested for child pornography or child sex crimes?

I would be a pedophile. Only pedophiles run with pedophiles, and there has never been, in the history of western civilization, a more disgusting person leading a nation that Fidel Castro's pedphile bastard, the current Prime Minister of Canada.

His symbol for the Trudeau foundation? Yes, that is very literally the same exact symbol the FBI identifies as a pedophile symbol.

Were the man to come up missing tomorrow, the world would be a better place.

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on June 02, 2020:

Thanks for the smiles, Mr. Manatita.

I "smile while I'm bleeding" too. (I wrote a piece with a title very close to that, many years ago.) So, it's all good on my end.

Thank You for the visit. Wish us well please and thank You in advance for that.


Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on June 02, 2020:

Greetings Mrs. Sue.

It's alright, if "street protests are a thing of the past for" You. We'll keep at it. At some point, protests will be a thing of the past for me as well. For now, I keep carrying the Ganienkeh Flag.

We are together in Spirit in this case. : )

May Wakan Tanka guide your path.

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on June 02, 2020:

Thank You for stopping-by, Mr. Bill.

I also do not think platitudes wil change anything. Laws need to be changed. Until we fix our gov'ts, we will keep having a lot of social, economic and poltical problems.

All the best!

manatita44 from london on June 01, 2020:

Perhaps, we are 'meant' to be in this together. Chuckle. Let's laugh bro. Remain cheerful, but I know what you mean. Peace.

Sustainable Sue from Altadena CA, USA on June 01, 2020:

I'm with you, Mr. Happy. I live in a very nice neighborhood near the foothills of Pasadena, California. I don't have much money—I live in a granny house behind the main one and get a reduction on rent in exchange for some handywork. BUT it's peaceful here. It's lovely here, with lots of trees. I go on photography walks regularly, and use my photos as screensavers (and in my writing). I get to write what I want to, when I want to, and for whom I want to. And I'm physically, mentally, emotionally healthy. I've had to work at it, but that's where I am now.

I see what's going on in the streets and I'm sick. I see white supremacists baiting the police into blasting black people with wooden bullets; throwing rocks into store windows and setting them afire and then running away, so protesters will get blamed.

I don't know what to do to help. I'm not in their shoes and street protests are a thing of the past for me. We could be in this together, but those white supremacists aren't. Many of the police officers aren't. Trump certainly isn't. So the best I can do is to use my writing to create (or show) what a strong community looks like, with the hope that it might trigger thought and potential action in others to make it happen.

Thanks for making this disparity clear, Mr. Happy.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 01, 2020:

True statements, my friend. True statements. The powerful and the rich will never be in the same boat as the poor and defenseless. That's a truth which has been valid since governments were formed. Politicians argue in Congress about what level of health care should be available to our citizens, while they, the politicians, have full health benefits given to them. Equality? I think not!

Money will always rule in any society, and no amount of platitudes will change that.

Now I need to work my way out of this dark mood. :)

Blessings always!

Mr. Happy (author) from Toronto, Canada on June 01, 2020:

"They never do. Even though they have more." - Sigh ... greed knows no boundaries. I'm not saying your neighbours are greedy. I do not know them but that's yet another way of never having enough, or being satisfied: greed.

Thank You for that different perspective, Mr. Dierker.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 01, 2020:

Most assuredly correct. My nieghbors do not have it as good as my family. But you know what? They never do. Even though they have more.

Long hike today for me.

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