#5SmartReads - April 26, 2022
Marissa on children and COVID, what the right is trying to ban, and loving our jobs again
Marisa is a corporate account executive by day, a freelance writer and #5SmartReads contributor by night, and a mom 24/7. She writes and shares about parenting and policy as well as travel and all things local to her adopted hometown of Kansas City, Missouri. She is also getting very excited for SUMMER (come on good weather) and the return of rose season, in case that wasn't evident from the photo. Follow along!
So, to begin: I have a 3.5 year old who loves to push boundaries. AND, while our suburban home really doesn't even make this possible, I can't imagine letting my 3.5 year old take herself on a walk several blocks to a grocery store where she would shop and pay by herself and then safely return home. But everything about this article made me think about things she CAN do and ways that she can take ownership for little errands and responsibilities in our home and our neighborhood, and whether letting her progressively do more of that represents a better way of parenting overall.
Speaking of kiddos, this is something that has confounded me for awhile: small children, who evidence shows are both at the lowest risk of severe disease AND less likely to be vectors of transmission to adults in a group setting, continue to be held to high levels of pandemic behavioral mandates compared to adults and older kids. This article dives a bit into some of the philosophy of why and the pushback against it in NYC. As for myself, I would rather have my child in-school in-person wearing a mask than stuck at home, but I'd also rather see mask mandates extended on airplanes and trains than in preschools. In this case, as with so many other things about the pandemic, public health protocols just kind of leave me scratching my head like... "make this make sense."
And I quote: "It seems a segment of the right fears that encouraging children toward consideration and compassion for their peers will lead to acceptance of their differences, whether in race or gender or sexuality or religion or any number of other identity-based areas of life." Huh, you think?
Fractured France: A Country With Deep Fault Lines (The Economist)
As a former French major and all around Francophile, I really enjoyed this exquisite essay about the social, economic, and political fracturing of France - and as an American, I can't help but see numerous parallels between what is fueling animosity and discord there and what we have already seen unfold at home.
I was recently on a call with someone higher up at my company who shared that for the first time in many years, they asked an associate to do something (unpleasant-ish, and certainly at an inconvenient time) and was told "No. That's not going to work for me." This person was not shocked - we all know about the Great Resignation and recognize that what people want out of a job (and will in turn tolerate FROM a job) has profoundly changed over the last 24 months. So in a society that is built around the concept of "work" as "productivity," how do we manage to reconcile that with the need to keep people employed as the most basic tenet of our economy? How do we fix burnout to keep people in jobs? How do we make it so that people can find meaning, maybe even joy, in what they do each day that is ALSO a contribution to the economy in the most traditional sense? Some ideas here are good ones, but I'd welcome more - as I'm sure would anyone hiring these days.