04.18.2022 at 4:35 PM

The last few years have been a whirlwind of words and terminology we rarely used before. If I never hear the word “unprecedented” again that would be just fine with me.

But one of the words that has had my mind a lot lately is “essential”. It brings to mind the well-known and often quoted lines about the word “inconceivable”… I do not think that means what you think it means…

If you look up the definition you get this:
Adjective - absolutely necessary; indispensable:Discipline is essential in an army.
pertaining to or constituting the essence of a thing.
noting or containing an essence of a plant, drug, etc.
being such by its very nature or in the highest sense; natural; spontaneous:essential happiness.
(of a singularity of a function of a complex variable) noting that the Laurent series at the point has an infinite number of terms with negative powers.
(of a discontinuity) noting that the function is discontinuous and has no limit at the point.Compare removable (def. 2).
a basic, indispensable, or necessary element; chief point:Concentrate on essentials rather than details.

And if you look it up in the Thesaurus, you get this:
Crucial, fundamental, imperative, important, indispensable, main, necessary, needed, vital, capital, cardinal, chief, leading, prerequisite, principal, requisite, constitutive, foremost, must-have, necessitous, needful, required, right-hand, wanted

Perhaps essential is not the best term to be used for the things it has been used for? Based on the above definitions and synonyms, that is a wide array of things that people could deem as essential. I was deemed essential for my job… payroll and accounting in the supply chain industries… fast food workers were deemed essential, so people could eat while out doing essential things. But bathrooms were off limits – non-essential I guess.

Or perhaps the issue is that they did not specify that things needed to be essential in what purpose. I mean, we have already seen that mental health is apparently not essential, with the lack of ongoing in-person support available over the past few years. The rise in suicide is not just indicate that direct care for mental health itself was deemed unessential, but also that the myriad of things that affect mental health are also not essential. For example, my nephew who has struggled with mental illness for most of his life, lost not only his access to mental health support, but also lost his only outlet for feelings, the only thing that gave him the structure and routine he needed to be able to keep his life bearable. Theatre was deemed non-essential and he lost his battle with his demons because what was essential to him, to his life, to his well-being, was deemed non-essential by the rest of the world….

bEfOrE ~ AftEr

  • : : :
    wHaT dO u tHiNk ?

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