Next time you get frustrated, annoyed, or snap at someone for “walking against the arrows” in a store, stop for a moment and consider this: do you get that angry about injustices in the world? Are you that upset about the families in your community who don’t have enough groceries? Does the one-every-fourty-seconds rate of suicides bother you that much? What about racial acts, discrimination because of religious beliefs, or sexuality, or your gender (even if you identify as something else)?
Do these things make you as angry as that guy who didn’t follow the arrows (who might not have noticed, or maybe has his mind on something else, just like you)?
Yes? Good. Refocus that frustration to things that are actual injustices instead of momentary inconveniences.
No? You’re more upset about that person in the store than you are about the many things wrong with this world (even before COVID-19 made is appearance in our lives?
Tell me why. Tell me why suddenly these minor, infinitesimal irritations suddenly overwhelm you and occupy your thoughts and emotions. Tell me why that 15 seconds have you on edge the rest of your day. I’ll give you a hint. It has nothing to do with him, and everything to do with the face you see in the mirror every morning.
And I’m talking to you because you’re seething as you read this, because I’m calling you out.
And I’m talking to you, because I’m talking to me. Because I can’t point a finger at you without knowing there are many more pointing at me.
You. Me. The person in the store. The cashier. The taxi driver. The person who cut you off in traffic.
We. Are. Human.
Prone to mistakes. Prone to fears and anger and stupid little mistakes.
Let’s remember we’re human. In the words of Jennifer Dukes Lee
“In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”