SHORT READS

I Call the Shots

The delusion of anti-mask, anti-vax, anti-law US citizens

Jean Campbell
3 min readSep 14, 2021

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Image courtesy WikiCommons.

A woman at a rally, holding a sign that says, in red-white-and-blue, “I CALL THE SHOTS” exemplifies the ongoing COVID insanity. She’s said it plain as day, what she wants: to be in charge of something.

At the very least, every anti-vaxxer wants full control of his or her own life.

Against a virus, you don’t call the shots. None of us has full control over our lives, from birth to death.

We are at the mercy of all sorts of forces, including other people, hurricanes, illness, aging, death, the economy, and — the next visit from your mother-in-law.

Most of life is about not calling shots, but Americans can’t accept this simple truth. We’ve been inculcated from day one into a bizarre mindset that says individuals plan their own destiny.

It’s one of the pillars of the American dream, similar to growing up to be a cowboy or astronaut.

I, alone, shall master the world. It’s a nice idea, but most of us grow out of it.

Individualism Works…Temporarily

Telling kids life is their responsibility and teaching that their actions have consequences is central to raising socialized individuals, but we also teach them to share.

Learning to walk, dress yourself, and take care of the many complex tasks of become a bipedal, socially appropriate human requires both self-care and accountability. But in some cases, these lessons have never been instilled, or got lost along the way.

We easily take for granted we need others — parents, family, extended family and yes, a community — to succeed. Forget about succeeding, we need others just for living.

Somewhere in our twisted American psyche, we aren’t instilling values of community. Not everywhere, of course, because plenty of Americans believe in community and helping others.

But a subset of us, about 30%, seem to be seriously deranged.

They are the ones who hoard to their guns, their vehicles, and their properties as if these personal possessions will save them from hurricanes and…

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Jean Campbell

Writer by day, reader by night, napper by afternoon.