The other day, I was at Dick’s Sporting Goods (Anyone else hate the name of that store? My kids chuckle everytime I say it.) I was waiting patiently in line to purchase my items, making sure to follow the 6 feet apart policy. I notice a woman pushing her cart, almost hesitant to walk in front of me. I can see she wants to get around me through the tight quarters. She politely squeaked out an “excuse me,” because she needed to get behind me in line. She apologized for walking in front of me, explaining she didn’t want me to think she was cutting the line. The woman looked so scared, like I was going to lash out at her. I of course happily moved over so she could get in line with her cart, and I then told her there was no need to apologize. She looked like a frightened kitten. Then she proceeds to tell me how nice I am and how people are so mean lately. All the while, I’m thinking, “Lady, all I did was let you by.” Afterwards, we had a quick friendly conversation talking about the impurities going on in the world right now while we were waiting to check out, PATIENTLY.
This just tugged at me, and I thought about this nice woman all day because I too have been encountering the same experiences as she. It was eerily relatable. My question is, what’s wrong with people? What did someone say or do this poor woman to condition her in being afraid of me or others? I mean, I know I don’t look very approacable, so maybe that was it? 🙂
Rememeber 9/11 during the “Never Forget” days. We stood united. People were nice to each other. Complete strangers helped other strangers without expecting anything in return. There were lines at the blood banks, men and women enlisted in the military to defend our country, divorced couples got back together, and we held our friends and family a little tighter during those days. THAT’S when we were all indeed in this together. The good old days when we showed kindness. It took a tragedy like 9/11 to make us realize what’s important.
Fast forward almost 19 years later, and we could not be more divided. A very different tragedy has blindsided us. But we rise up, right? Not exactly, not this time. People have their own agenda. They are all in a race to be first, in a rush to go nowhere, they want to be better than you, they make their own rules now and they pick who gets to play on their team. You look at someone the wrong way accidently, and you get mean mugged. People walk around in the markets like total zombies, with these pretentious smugs underneath those masks, even though covered, we can see right through. And since when are we all entilted to something? Did I miss the entitlement memo? Of course, this is nothing new. It existed in the post 9/11 days up until the pre-COVID era. But now my friends, 2020 has unleashed a fury in people like no other.
What does it take to be a decent person nowadays? It doesn’t cost a thing. What happened to “Please” and “Thank You?’ It almost kills some to even utter it. Why are people so mean? I’m sure most of you weren’t raised that way. What would your mother think!! What legacy will you leave when your time is up? Let that sink in a little. Because the last time I checked, no matter how much better you think you are than others, all our graves are going to be the same size in the end. Also the last time I checked, you are entitled to NOTHING. You are entiltled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Anything else, well, we need to put our big boy and big girl pants on and work for it.
So don’t be the person that makes others fearfull or intimidated. Be the person, be the reason why someone smiles today.