It happens. We get caught up in our own problems and end up saying or doing things to others that we don’t really mean. Stress can make us turn into Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. When we lose our temper or are rude to people, especially those we care about, it’s hard to come back from it. For some reason, we are hardest on those we love because we make the assumption that all will be forgiven. But, what about those we don’t even know?
Right now, with this Covid-19 heavy on people’s minds and forcing us to live a certain way, there are many people not handling the isolation, the financial difficulties, and the stress of dealing with the unknown. Who gets the brunt of that? Often times, family members. There are those who deal with any stress by drinking and doing drugs. They become unpredictable, sometimes dangerous. Some are angry and lash out at everyone. Some get depressed and give up on life and can be harmful to themselves. Regardless of which type of person you are dealing with, it’s easy for a situation to get out of hand. Trying to just cope with the everyday things of life can be really difficult.
I am seeing or hearing about these behaviors everywhere. People responding verbally in anger at the grocery store if someone gets too close or if they are being told to back off. My daughter, who works at a bank, was being threatened over the phone because a customer didn’t like the way something was being handled. He threatened to show up and cough all over everyone. Parking lot and road rage. There have always been people who act out like this, but it’s in larger numbers now. Some are just boiling pots waiting to spill over on the next person with whom they come into contact. You don’t want to be anywhere near them when they do go off.
People are scared. They feel desperate. There are too many that are willing to disregard other’s safety and welfare. They walk among us everywhere we go, every place we shop, and we won’t know who they are. We are so self- absorbed right now that it’s tough to think about others. But those people out there being called essential workers? Many of them don’t want to be out there either. They are just as scared and worried, maybe even more so. They have families they go home to and are worried they are carrying an illness that could take them all. These workers are having to learn new ways to do their jobs, deal with difficult people, and are putting their lives on the line. Many of them will lose their jobs if they don’t show up and they can’t afford not to. They have no savings to fall back on. No medical insurance if they aren’t working. They deserve our gratitude, not our angst. The last thing they need is to be abused by customers. Next time you are out, think about them. Offer a hello because smiles can’t be seen behind masks. Say thank you. Show a little kindness. Leave a note for your mailman, garbage man, or mail one to your hairdresser to show them that you are still thinking of them. In other words, refocus your mind.
It’s time for us to change. We need to think differently. Behave differently. Some of us are showing our appreciation with signs, music, performances, videos, the stories of kindness service, and support, and the love we are showing for our fellow mankind by following the guidelines. There are two people in my neighborhood putting daily messages out on blackboards for anyone driving by. I see picture windows covered in hearts with the word hope. Someone has been dropping off painted rocks in mailboxes here with single words like hope, faith, and love. I see offers of a bag of groceries to anyone who needs help and needs it right now. We cannot forget how to be human at a time that a single touch or a hug is verboten. And when this is all over, they need to be lessons that stay with us. A little less anger, please. And a lot more love!