I didn't order a wake-up call - Denny Scott editorial
Wake-up calls can come in all shapes and sizes, from getting winded going up the office stairs to hearing your daughter repeat your favourite (non-expletive) frustration phrase (“Oh! Come on!” in case you’re wondering) to remind us about the world and our place in it.
Sometimes those wake-up calls are humorous, other times they are frustrating. However, the one I got over the weekend was humbling and really put things in perspective.
First off I’ll say the military activity going on in Ukraine is wrong and the activities in Russia can show certain segments of our society what a true dictatorship looks like and maybe remind us of exactly how much freedom we have.
However it can be easy to forget in our day-to-day lives about the kind of problems being faced around the world, including families that are watching loved ones go to war.
It was so easy for me, I’m ashamed to say, that I was about to take to Twitter to lambaste McDonald’s on the weekend for, once again, making it difficult to order food.
I guess I’ve been spoiled, but I wanted to place an order on their app and have my wife pick it up. Unfortunately (unbeknownst to me until we got to the pick-up stage of the order), you can’t do that. Instead of just having the four-digit alpha-numeric code (which has enough variations - approximately 4.5 billion - for more than half the people in the world to have a unique code without duplication, for reference) you have to have the phone used to place the order with you when you pick the order up. Isn’t that stupid?
Anyway - as I was about to turn to Twitter to blast yet another stupid decision by the McDonald’s public relations and research and development departments (after those kiosks I thought it couldn’t get any worse), I saw the news coming in on Twitter from Ukraine. There weren’t just news reports but also videos of people who were saying goodbye to their loved ones and videos near/from the zones in conflict.
There I was, wanting to express my displeasure about not being able to get the fast food I wanted while people half a world away are fighting for not just their way of life, but their very lives.
I decided, in that moment, that it likely wasn’t worth my time to shout at the wall that is the McDonald’s social media team because there were more important things going on in the world.
My frustration at a decidedly first-world problem (maybe more than decidedly, maybe the most first-world problem in the history of first-world problems) would pale in comparison to the problems going on in the rest of the world.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t have complaints or problems - but sometimes it takes a reminder that what’s bothering us maybe isn’t as important as we believe it to be in the moment.
Is the fact that I couldn’t fulfill that want for a guilty pleasure important to me? Yeah. But in the grand scheme of things, is it important enough to voice my concern to the masses? Probably not.
Of course we can’t rely on the internet for those wake-up calls, as convenient as that may be. A few days back I was talking to someone who is having trouble visiting an ailing family member because of a COVID-19 outbreak.
The person couldn’t visit a family member in a medical facility due to a potential case of COVID-19 in the facility.
It’s easy to say, “Well those are the rules” and walk away, but those wake-up calls need to happen on both the individual and on the larger scales.
While both myself and this person are triple-vaccinated against the disease, we both felt there needed to be some way of finding a means for people to interact with their loved ones. Just because I espouse following the rules doesn’t mean I can’t see when they need to be changed.
Regardless, at that time I realized I hadn’t really looked into the time period for the fourth doses of vaccine which, according to the experts, is going to be how we finally move from pandemic to endemic, so the discussion served as a wake-up call to get on that as well.
How are they connected? Well it’s a matter of recognizing inconvenience versus actual harm.
Did I need to get a Big Mac? No. Especially since it was causing a fair bit of confusion for my wife who was just trying to pick it up. As a matter of fact, I was better off not getting fast food.
Should I ignore the need for a fourth needle because it’s an inconvenience? No. Especially since it will help move everyone, even those against the vaccines, out of the pandemic.
Do I want to get another needle? No. As a matter of fact, I have to lie down whenever I get a needle because I don’t do so well with them. But that’s the only way we’re going to be able to see our loved ones regularly and avoid any more lockdowns (especially with the news this week an upswing in COVID-19 counts in wastewater testing). It’s also the only way we’re going to protect our local business owners because they’ve weathered some of the worst problems.
Maybe there’s a wake-up call for you in what I’ve written, or maybe there isn’t, but keep your eyes and ears open for them because you might miss them.