The squeakiest wheel gets the grease

Somehow I ended up watching a clip of a 1995 interview with James Earl Jones, which (to me) was most memorable for the American proverb I hadn’t heard before. It was a lead-in to mentioning the pain of unemployment felt within the Asian community in NYC. The nature of their protest, James Earl Jones said, is almost irrelevant – it’s about the pain.

There are lots of actions that I find incredulous while the world is still in lockdown. Seeing some folks in Michigan gathering closely to protest restrictions reminded me of that interview. I don’t agree with their actions, share their worldview or feel there is an answer that could really deliver these people what they want in the short term. But I do recognise that a lot of them are feeling and expressing pain. That’s what is driving their behaviour.

When triaging wounded, those shouting loudest don’t automatically get priority. So it must be in dealing with this pandemic. We can still listen and acknowledge – hear the pain coming through the noise.

We’d like more grease, for sure. What we have must keep our most crucial wheels spinning.

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