Matthew Cohen, MSW

Matthew Cohen, MSW

Social Justice Solutions | Staff Writer
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A Message From Mother Nature: Slow Down!

As extreme weather becomes the norm, it might be a good idea to asses what these sort of events teach us. Besides the normal panic,I am fascinated by the insistence of keeping work and schools open. I have already heard, “it is only raining”, about 5 times this morning. It’s infuriating me, because they are missing the point.

It’s ok to take a day off when all signs point that way. It’s ok to do so even if we are playing it a little safe. If you lose your job over a snowstorm, which is probably not going to happen, remember that you can lose many jobs but can only lose one life. My wife is home and cozy, and my family is safe;  that is all that matters to me on a day like today.

It’s the little things like opening the office for half the day, or the local University holding classes until noon, that bother me. This frantic effort to squeeze out every second of efficiency cannot be healthy. If classes are cancelled, or work has to be missed for a day, we will survive. Sandy should have taught us that even when the gas stops flowing, and society takes a breath, we will rebuild. Work and class will be there eventually so  please don’t panic!

We spend our entire lives working and building; hardly do we get any rest. In Europe the norm is 4 weeks vacation, in America it is 1, maybe 2 weeks. During that time I think we feel guilty for even taking our well deserved rest. This Puritan ideal, this work ethic, has become a pathology. We have forgotten that some times it is ok to take a day off, and even be a little lazy.

Today a snowstorm is going to hit the east coast of America. The storm has been called Nemo, but I like to think that all storms are our Mother Earth gently reminding us of what is important. Slow down, you deserve it.

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