This article originally appeared on the blog of Heretic, the magazine of We Are Libertarians.
There are lots of ways for us to help our friends, neighbors, and communities during the difficult challenges that for many have already begun and will likely persist for the next several weeks, or even months. In our Getting Through COVID-19, Together series, we will look at specific ways to do just that.
“Give us this day our daily bread”. For Christians, these words almost certainly sound familiar, as they are part of The Lord’s Prayer. For all of us though, this time demands that we not only recognize those words, but heed them as well.
But what exactly does this line from a prayer two millennias old have to do with all us getting through COVID-19 together?
This line of the prayer clearly says “Give us this day our daily bread”. On a purely individualistic level, it might be logical to grab as many cans of food, bottles of cleaning spray, and bundles of toilet paper as you can. But then what is left for your neighbors? And how can you justify having an absurd surplus when others – especially those most vulnerable to this virus – are in need? An extreme individualistic outlook is not compatible with the call to take “our daily bread”, and it will not help all of us get through this pandemic.
The next time you’re at a grocery store, and you’re tempted to load your cart as full as possible with Tylenol, bread, Germ-X, etc. take a moment to be grateful that the shoppers before you left product for you and yours. Then, return that kindness and communal thinking by making sure to leave some for the next of your neighbors that will be there.
You don’t need 20 containers of Clorox wipes. You don’t need 10 loaves of bread. You don’t need all the chicken breasts and ground beef that the butcher has prepared. You might want it, but you don’t need it all – but all of us need some.