The Man on the Roof – the importance of experts

The Man on the Roof – the importance of experts

            Okay, before I get to anything else, let me be very clear on this.  I don’t use, and no dog ever has used, toilet paper!  That’s all on you guys!

            There’s a terrific story – I don’t know where it came from originally.  It tells of a religious man who is warned that a great flood is coming.  But because of his deep faith, he trusts that he’s safe. 

            It starts to rain, and a neighbor pulls up in their car, and offers to drive him with their family, to where it’s dry. 

            “No thank you, I trust in my God, and He will save me,” he tells them.

            They drive off, wishing him the best.  And it keeps raining.

            It rains so hard and so long that the street floods.  Another neighbor comes by, floating down the street in a boat, and offers to let him on.

            “No thank you, I trust in my God, and He will save me,” he tells them.

            And they wish him well and paddle away. 

And it rains yet more.  And the water rises so high that only his roof sticks above water, so he sits on it waiting.

A police helicopter flies over, and from a loudspeaker, orders him to grab the ladder so they can fly him to safety. 

            “No thank you, I trust in my God, and He will save me,” he yells to them.  And eventually they fly off to save other people.

            And it keeps raining, and eventually he is drowned and dies.

            His soul goes up to Heaven, where he, as he had always hoped, meets face-to-face with God. He exclaims his shock and disappointment, “I had faith in you, and you let me die!”

            God shrugs his shoulders and snaps at him, “What more could I do?  I sent you a car, I sent you a boat, I sent you a helicopter, and you wouldn’t accept any of them!”

            Now today, in our modern technological world, we’ve been sent something else.  Experts.  We have a lot of experts.

            There’s so much knowledge out there, no person could ever know even a small portion of it.  But you have each other, and between the seven billion of you, you guys know an awful lot!  We other animals are constantly impressed.

            But then, we also get shocked when we see you ignoring all that expertise and choosing easier or dumber answers instead.

            We hear of people who insist that our planet is flat, though everyone from physicists to airplane pilots offers proof that it’s not.

            We hear of people who swear vaccines cause Autism, though that has been disproven many times.

            And in just this past month, we’ve heard a global pandemic referred to as no big deal, as a “hoax,” as particular to a particular race of people, or as a military plot, and people being told to buy up all the toilet paper and water they can – all by voices who share one thing in common: None of them are experts, and none were using the information experts told them!

We don’t know, and maybe never will, exactly when the Chinese government first realized there was a new, highly contagious, virus in the city of Wuhan.  But once the word got out from there, we know that there were experts all over the world who had studied diseases, viruses, medical supplies, government reactions and actions, and all sorts of other essential aspects of a situation like this.

And we know that a lot of those experts spoke up.

And we know that a lot of people in governments, in businesses, and in media, found what they said unwanterd, and so ignored it.  Or even lied about it.

And because of those corrupt actions, a lot of people will get sick.  And a lot of people will die.

            But wait, are so-called “experts” always right?  We’ve seen throughout history that of course that’s not the case.  So how do you choose who to listen to, and who to believe?

            I have a solution. 

Now normally I’m a big optimist, but you know we dogs are also guardians, so we have a certain pessimism as well. 

My idea is that if you ignore the experts, you’re a fool.  But if you put all your trust into one expert, they might turn out to be incorrect, or a phony.

But if you listen to, and act on, what all the different experts say, your odds of getting the right answer improve a lot. 

So a person might get sick and be told that a chiropractor, an acupuncturist, vitamins and hydration, or a medical drug would help.  Which should they do? Well, if it’s just a little sniffle, you can ignore it.  Or if it’s a cold you get often, you can just do what usually works.  But if it’s something bad, why not do them ALL, at least as much as you can afford?  In the end, when you get better, you won’t know which of them worked and which didn’t, or if it was a mixture of two or more… but you’ll be well, right? 

            So imagine if, when the news about this virus came to light, every government in the world had immediately invested in testing, started research to develop vaccines and cures, arranged to follow people entering and exiting their borders, to see if any were infected, to limit transmission.  Would there have been needless expenditure?  Sure.  Would one or only a few countries gain an enormous economic boost when they created and patented the right medicines?  Yep.  

And would this have staved off a worldwide humanitarian and economic disaster?  Absolutely.

            Now it’s too late to fix what’s gone wrong.  But on the biggest level (governments, diplomacy) and the smallest (our individual lives), we can learn from this experience.  I don’t know how bad it’s going to get, but no one’s saying the human race won’t survive (and the scientists are now saying we dogs aren’t susceptible to it!  Whew!).  So the world can benefit by our learning.

            But for now, just do me a couple of favors.  Wherever you live, wash your hands with soap more than you normally do, control your coughing and sneezing to keep it from going at people, and DON’T HOARD WATER AND TOILET PAPER!  There’s absolutely no reason to, and you’re creating worse problems than existed before!  (Truly – you’d be in way more danger living in an area where people can’t get toilet paper than you are from Coronavirus!)  Plus it’s just mean.  And at times like this, we need to be as kind as we can.

            Trust me on this.  In this one single area (how we treat others) I am, yes, an Expert!

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Leave a Reply 6 comments

pepper - March 21, 2020 Reply

Shirelle, you are a modern day prophet!

    shirelle - March 21, 2020 Reply

    Thanks! Handsome, I think, got what you said confused with “profit,” and said to me, “No, my love, you’re just a modern-day expense!”

Eiramam - March 21, 2020 Reply

Shirelle, all I know is that every time I hear your voice, I feel better.

    shirelle - March 22, 2020 Reply

    Oh and you melt my heart!!! Thanks!!

andrea - March 21, 2020 Reply

Thanks for a bit of sanity in the current craziness! stay well and say “hi” to handsome for me –

    shirelle - March 22, 2020 Reply

    Oh what a lovely thing to say! When I’m jumping on folks and licking their faces, I usually get called “Completely Insane,” so this is a wonderful compliment! And by the way, I said “Hi” to him, and he sent you so many kisses he’s afraid you’ll both get viruses from them!!

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