If there is anything the last year and a half has taught us, it surely is the fact that life is unpredictable at best. At the same time, life does go on. We cannot stop living simply because we are afraid of what we may encounter around the next bend; however, we must be careful not to allow our behavior to be overly influenced by the negative emotions such as fear and anger that invariably rise to the surface during times of uncertainty.
Fear does not always lead to bad things. It is a mechanism that can sometimes protect or keep us from taking a path that could lead to our detriment. On the other hand, fear can cloud our judgment to the point where we may end up running toward the danger instead of away from it. There is no shame in being afraid, but we cannot allow it to take over. We must do what we can to minimize its effects. Start with deep breathing. Slow down, breathe, and think – rationally.
Why are so many people exhibiting such angry behaviors in public? It is shocking to see elderly folks in Walmart cursing at one another and telling one another to “Get the ‘F’ out of my way!” Although this lack of civilized behavior is not unusual among younger generations on the best of days, it is somewhat concerning to see our elders behave in such a manner in terms of proper social interactions with growing frequency. The plain truth is, we cannot simply ignore the fact that we have to deal with the continuing fallout from lockdowns and social distancing. Human beings need touch and connection. The necessary isolation imposed upon us did more than change the way we see the world; it also changed how we interact interpersonally.
It is clear, we have the poison. What we need now is the antidote. We have the sickness; now we need the remedy. Where can we find that antidote – that remedy? The good news is that we have had access to it all along. It is quite simply the ability to choose. Choose to be kind instead of mean and aggressive. Choose to speak words of inspiration rather than profanity. Ultimately, choose to be happy, and the next time someone cuts you off with a shopping cart in one of the aisles at Walmart, focus on what is truly important, and add meaning to the encounter.
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