The Good Press — Issue #18: Power

The Good Press
6 min readAug 19, 2020

Hello and welcome to another edition of The Good Press.

Thanks for reading. I hope you find this issue to be worth your time.

Comments and reader suggestions are always welcome.

Power

Do you feel powerful?

You should feel powerful. We all have power, whether we realize it or not.

I have the power to type these words each week, and through the wonders of the internet, I have the power to send these words to you. It may be a small thing, but I’m proud that I can wield the power of the pen in a productive way.

Recently, I challenged readers to consider what inspires you. This week, I’d like to challenge you to consider your power and how you choose to wield it.

Individually, we can each control how we think, how we act, how we spend our days. That independence and individual agency are very powerful things.

Together, our collective power can shape our lives and the lives of many generations that will come after. All those individual voices coming together.

One example of how powerful we can be, individually and collectively, is how we all have the power to elect representatives at levels of government big and small. The power to make our collective voices heard at the ballot box.

That power is something that cannot and should not be taken for granted.

It’s why I will continue to implore my readers to take a few minutes to visit Vote.org, to ensure your power and your voice are heard loud and clear.

The current administration in power seems far more concerned with suppressing the power of its citizens to safely exercise their right to vote than suppressing the viral pandemic that continues to ravage the country.

Don’t just take my word for it; people much smarter than me say the same.

Slowing down the mail, preventing people from getting their medicine and other things they need? It doesn’t seem like a productive way to wield power.

It’s downright cruel. The postal service is such a vital part of the American experience that it’s enshrined in the Constitution as a vital public service.

In a free and fair election, in a free country of empowered citizens, exercising your right to vote would not be deemed as threatening to people in power. Disrupting the mail system is an incredibly desperate move, and it’s a new low from an administration that does not seem to believe in rock bottom.

Consider this: if you aren’t powerful, then why would they be trying so hard to suppress your ability to exercise your power to make your voice heard?

It doesn’t matter how tall you are, what language(s) you speak, how big your muscles are, or aren’t. You are powerful in your own way. Your voice is powerful in its own way. Never let anybody convince you otherwise.

Remember that, and consider how you can wield that power every day.

Recommendations

My recommended reading this week is a fascinating case of how powerful people can wield their power and influence for the greater good. A breath of fresh air from people who have stepped up to fill the leadership void abdicated by the federal government in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.

The short version of the story is that the National Basketball Association and NBA players union spent over $500,000 to develop a potential breakthrough coronavirus test that is more affordable and less invasive, with faster results.

The long version? Well, I’ll let former acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Andy Slavitt explain just what it all means:

As the initial ESPN story reported, the partnership between Yale University researchers, the NBA, NBA players, and health experts like Slavitt led to this major breakthrough over the weekend that could be a serious game-changer.

I will note that this testing breakthrough is a good step forward, not a cure.

But it is a good step forward. Perhaps with better leadership from the federal government in 2021 and beyond, we’ll be able to take more steps forward. Til then, masking up, keeping a safe distance from others, washing our hands, and being smart about our social interactions is still the way forward for now.

Parting Thoughts

It’s terrific to see the unmitigated success of the NBA’s return to play plans thus far. I had a healthy amount of skepticism that sports leagues would be able to navigate the treacherous waters of the pandemic, but the “bubble” format that the NBA is utilizing has certainly emerged as an effective format.

There were some who fairly questioned whether crucial testing supplies would be needlessly diverted away from the general public in order to meet the demand of the sports leagues, but NBA commissioner Adam Silver was cognizant from the very beginning to make sure that would not be the case.

It would have been easy for basketball to just show up and dribble and play their games. Instead, the players and the league contributed something far more meaningful than long-awaited live entertainment for millions of fans.

Let’s not forget, back in early March, before The Good Press even existed, it was the NBA’s prudent decision to suspend play out of an abundance of caution that truly helped America wake up and realize how serious this was. Now, they’re helping fund the research that could lead to America slowly beginning the long climb back out of the darkness and back into the light.

That’s profoundly powerful. It’s true leadership in a time when we need it.

The NBA has continued testing all personnel in the bubble and nearly a month into the experiment they have remained free of infection and the quality of play in the restarted regular season was very high. The playoffs have now begun and (knock on wood) it looks like everything is going to plan.

There may not be live fans in the building or home-court advantage in each team’s home arena, but it’s been such a breath of fresh air to see safe, secure, entertaining, and guilt-free games. It feels like a little slice of normalcy.

It wouldn’t have been possible without the league and the players putting their heads together to make it work. They were able to successfully leverage their power and influence to turn a bad situation into something wonderful.

You or I may not be as powerful or influential as an athlete or a sports league executive, and that’s ok. It’s powerful to simply brighten someone’s day by spreading kindness, positivity, and joy. And it doesn’t cost a thing, either.

Be mindful of how powerful you are. Use your power for good and encourage others to do the same. Find common bonds between yourself and others and celebrate them. Always remember that the most powerful force in the world is love. Spread love and positivity. Try to always surround yourself with it.

-Jon

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