Streetlight People

Recently I heard Journey’s classic song, “Don’t Stop Believing” (also known as “Streetlight People”) and one particular lyric grabbed me. The group sings about the streetlight people who are,  “Livin’ just to find emotion.”

It seems to perfectly describe some of our current fellow travelers. They are the ones who “take a stand” that is the complete opposite of what sanity tells us it should be. They are contrarians and they will take a point of view “especially for the sake of being difficult, contentious or in opposition to the generally held view.”

You know who I’m talking about. It may be a neighbor, a parent, a sibling, or a co-worker. These are the folks who, in the midst of the worst global pandemic since the 1950s, don’t wear a mask and have developed remarkable reasons why, nearly all of them based on emotion.

If you want to see a particular instance of some people who have found the emotion and are living on it, then check out the recent county commission hearings in Palm Beach.  Expect a similar round of craziness across the nation when, if, a COVID vaccine is released.

In their song, Journey extoll the people living-on-emotion, “Don’t stop believing!”  Sorry Journey, but believing isn’t enough. The people at the hearing in Palm Beach passionately believe. Present them with the facts of mask wearing and their contrarian belief becomes even stronger. It is anti-intuitive but that’s the way is.

I’ll give the Palm Beach commissioners credit for using the right approach in not engaging with these living-on-emotion folks and just letting them have their say…for three hours.  The commissioners then unanimously voted to mandate the wearing of masks in Palm Beach County and called it a night.

The commissioners live in the real world of escalating infections and crowded hospitals. They live in a state that had close to 30,000 new confirmed infections in the past 72 hours. They are one county in a state that has a serious pandemic problem, tackling the issue of masks on their own because they have gotten no leadership from the governor or the president.  All too soon many Floridians, living on emotion or otherwise, will not be living at all.  ❧

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