No winning in vaccination debate

Published on September 7, 2021 by Reen Rose

About 1,000 people protested outside of Kelowna General Hospital against vaccine passports. Photo: Reddit

I don’t know about you, but my heart is heavy.

The pandemic has been bad enough in its own right, but the division that’s been instigated by the vaccination debate is even more exhausting. It feels like we’re in a no-win situation.

I had an appointment on Wednesday that meant I was in the vicinity of the hospital. I knew something was happening when I couldn’t find anywhere to park and could hear car horns and cheers.

It wasn’t until I asked the receptionist what was happening, that I discovered there was a protest.

I’ve been trying to live in my own bubble by limiting my news intake and social media engagement.

Of course, I couldn’t resist taking the opportunity to see for myself what was happening. So, I drove past the hospital on my way home

I’ll be honest. I was a little confused by some of the signs I saw.

One of the flyers being handed out at the protest.

There were the expected anti vaccine and passport ones, as well as some about personal freedom. I noticed one or two people holding signs that were protesting the protesters.

The signs that caused me to look twice were the ones saying we should support the nurses and other health care workers.

I’m totally in favor of doing that. But in my mind, that would involve not protesting outside their place of business. COVID-19 is putting an incredible strain on nurses. In my head, getting vaccinated is an action of support for them.

I wasn’t thinking about the healthcare workers who are being asked to choose between their jobs and their principles. Those were the individuals these signs were supporting. It was a freedom of choice statement.

I suspect the main reason I find the vaccination situation so distressing, is because there doesn’t seem to be a win-win solution available.

If you flip everything and say the public can do whatever they want, there will be protests about the government not protecting their people.

So, what can we do?

We can make the choice that’s best for us, without outside influences making us feel that one decision is better than the other.

We can stop arguing about why we are right and other people are wrong. It’s very unlikely that anyone is going to change their mind, based on a debate with another person. As I’ve written about in the past, believing you’re right, is part of your survival mechanism.

We can remember that decisions always come with consequences. As the old saying states, “You pays your money and you takes your choice.”

I choose to view the world as a benevolent place. One of my most fundamental beliefs is that the life is happening for me, not to me. As a result, I decided to trust the experts and the vaccine.

If it turns out that I’ve poisoned my body, I’ll have to live with that in the future. For now, this feels like the best option for me and the community I live in.

If you decide not to take that chance, or can’t stand to have your perceived freedoms curtailed, don’t get vaccinated. But accept that for now, this option may affect how you live.

We’re all being gifted with the opportunity to really go within ourselves to make a choice.

What do you believe? Do you believe it enough to stop eating in a restaurant, or to look for a new line of work? Do you trust your choice enough to risk your future health?

In a perfect world, you want to make a choice that doesn’t restrict you, but life is often imperfect. You may feel none of this is fair, but that’s nothing new either.

We’re each responsible for our own decisions and for taking responsibility for what happens as a result.

If you’re on the fence, listen to both sides and then take time to listen to your heart. Choose what’s best for you, not what you think is right, based on what your friends and family say.

Once you commit, try to be courteous towards people who don’t agree with you. Choosing to be respectful and compassionate, may be the most life-changing decision any of us will make as we navigate these tumultuous times.

About Reen Rose

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

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