Do as I say, not as I do.

Without a doubt, you have heard that expression countless times over the years. Even in the past 8 months or so, we have seen that philosophy demonstrated over and over again by people in positions of leadership.

So, here's one close to home. According to 9 NEWS, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has traveled to Houston to spend Thanksgiving with his wife and daughter after warning local residents to stay home and spend the holiday with their own households. Shortly before the flight, Hancock tweeted to "avoid travel if you can" in an effort to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

You certainly can't fault a man for wanting to spend the holiday with his family. We all want to do that. But, it demonstrates the problem of the pandemic on a broader scale. We are constantly told to avoid large gatherings and to stay home if we are sick. But, yes, people continue to congregate. and too many people continue to go out into public in spite of their symptoms - and in the process are spreading the virus to others.

You see, conforming to the guidelines set down by health officials means sacrifice. It means not doing things we want to do.  Perhaps we can do them safely, and maybe we can't. How do you know for sure that engaging in a particular activity won't produce the same outcome as not doing it? That's how we tend to think, consequently, the motivation to do the right thing becomes increasingly difficult.

And then on top of that, when you see leaders ignoring their own advice and warnings, well, it's hard to expect citizens to comply. It's a clear example of not taking the virus seriously.  We always think it's not going to happen to us. It's always going to be someone else.

Unfortunately, that kind of thinking has led to all kinds of exposure and spreading of COVID-19. Taking the virus seriously doesn't mean we are living in fear and it doesn't mean we are being controlled by the government. It is simply a matter of acting responsibly by doing things like wearing a mask, avoiding large gatherings, thinking about others, and social distancing.

I like what Governor Polis said the other day. "Make the best decisions for your family,"  he said. That is the bottom line. In some cases, it's going to be absolutely critical to avoid gatherings. Your circumstances may allow for safe interaction. We all have the right to make that decision, but, we also must act responsibly.

Again, I can't fault the Denver mayor for wanting to spend the holiday with his family, but, it definitely sends mixed signals when you are in a position of leadership and you do the exact opposite of what you're telling everyone else to do.

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