Last year, I posted about the county fair—specifically, how county fairs have changed through the years, yet the sweetness endures for me.
I had no idea how just one year would transform county fairs much more than the decades before. This year, few county fairs have been held—none that I know of in my area. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on many of our usual traditions throughout the summer (as well as the spring…and will continue into the fall). But this post isn’t about how things should have continued, how we should have stood our ground and continued to push through despite what leaders say, how we’ve given up all kinds of freedoms and have become worse because of it.
I don’t believe that, because I know some of the people making decisions. The men and women on those county fair boards couldn’t make the decision a philosophical or political one. It was more practical than that. Despite how heart-wrenching it was to cancel community, family, and individual plans, they made the tough call out of concern for people’s health. I know, it wasn’t always that simple of a decision. People didn’t agree. But in a broad sense, just as county fairs have been about community since they began, they were again this year in their absence. To sacrifice what is fun isn’t necessarily a stomp on our freedoms but an expression of care.
We want to believe not getting to do what we want to do is an injustice, especially through this pandemic. In truth, it is simply an inconvenience. I’m concerned those who are shouting about our freedoms might not understand what oppression truly is. In the process, we might be losing sight of what sacrifice for our neighbors and loved ones looks like in everyday, practical ways.
Instead of disbanding community, we are uniting community—or at least, we have the opportunity to do so. We can choose discontentment and disunity, or we can reach out and have conversations that open our minds and hearts. We can find creative ways to connect and serve. Tough decisions can bring us together.