Updated: Apr 12, 2020
Is staying safe at home, not being able to go shopping, or enjoy the everyday things we use to do, hard?
I know a lot of you will raise an eyebrow when you read this.
But no, it is not hard.
Hard, is the frontline workers like nurses, doctors, support workers and so many more who are making choices to leave the comforts of their home and help fight the virus. Now that is hard. It’s like a firefighter who runs into a burning house, with full knowledge of all its risks, but still, do it just the same.
Instead of hard, I would say it is inconvenient. Nothing is the way it was, and we have to conform to a new way, for now. It is a frustrating, worrisome and an inconvenient environment we are all living in right now.
Not sure about all of you, but when I head out to go get groceries, I feel immediate anxiety. This virus makes you feel so uneasy just to get the things you need. So an incident happened while shopping at our local Foodland grocery store. I was trying to observe the 6 feet distance apart, when a very loud woman who we will call “Angelina” (short for Angelina Jolie – Brad and Jenn forever baby) shouted at me “STOP @#! * BREATHING ON ME”. She was at least 8 ft away from me but yelled so loud I felt she was right up in my grill, as they say. I wanted to shrivel up and bury myself behind the boxes of cereal.
So, I ask you.
In times like this, is it unrealistic to be kind?
My first reaction to this woman was I think a normal one, where I wanted to scream back at her, after recouping from being mortified. I chose to be the bigger person. I poured myself a second glass of wine that day and examined what this lady might have been feeling. I imagine she is as worried just like we all are. Clearly, she is processing this situation a lot differently than I am. Maybe it makes her feel better when screaming at random people in grocery stores? I guess we all have our own outlets for releasing anxieties.
I am equally as worried, as everyone is. I cannot control what is happening with this virus, but I can control how I am going to get through it, and following the rules. Her words really did affect me. She made me feel dirty. She embarrassed me. She centered me out. Her negative emotion changed my mood for the day and has crept into my thoughts daily since then.
I know it is not possible to be happy all the time. Especially nowadays. For me, I usually wake up the day feeling positive, happy, and joyful. Sometimes it lasts the whole day, sometimes I only make it to 3:00 pm. We have the power to lift ourselves up, to get us out of that funk. Negative words like “Angelina’s” can really turn a smile into a frown instantly.
So, to answer the question I asked earlier, is it unrealistic to be kind?
I say, no it is not.
Kindness is really very easy and can mean so much. You can still smile at grocery shoppers, and ask how the cashiers are doing. Wave and say hello to your fellow neighbor when walking your neighborhood. Spread joy and positive words on social media, whenever and however you can. We can never be sure what people are dealing with and feeling, so a simple smile can make them feel good, and you feel even better. I promise you, even if you are wearing a mask, and you smile at me, I will know it.
We need to be better. We need to choose kindness.
Don’t be an “Angelina”.
Stay safe, stay home and be healthy.