I love Spring, honestly and promisedly. It is, perhaps, my favorite season of the year. The flowering trees, the daffodils and tulips, the return of decent weather, all the baby birds and animals- seriously there is just so much to love about this time of year.
Which is why when bad news comes your way as it is wont to do every now and then, it’s a sucker punch to your heart.
Last week a lot of bad news came our way. Every day brought some new catastrophe to a family member or friend. People I love were diagnosed with cancer and other serious, terminal diseases. Family members had high stakes surgery or other procedures done that left us worried and concerned.
While my immediate family is relatively healthy with simple runny noses and coughs, spiritually we are all feeling slightly battered. In fact, the words of Spock best sum up my feelings: I am emotionally compromised. My capacity for bad news has been reached, my threshold for sadness has been maxed out. At some point today, a stranger at the store, standing in line next to me, might mention in passing that they have a paper-cut or bad heartburn and I will most likely burst into tears, because I simply cannot take any more.
But life doesn’t stop, even when you are emotionally compromised. Lunches still need to be made, bed sheets still need to be changed, books are still due at the library and must be turned in.
It reminds me of a statistic someone told me when I was a young college student and thinking of calling in sick to work, because I just didn’t feel like going. Ninety percent of jobs are done by people who just don’t feel like it.
Think about that for a moment, Gentle Reader. Ninety percent of the people you encounter today will be doing their tasks despite feeling physically ill, emotionally compromised, excessively tired, or just plain under the weather. Ninety percent of the people around you are going through something, big or small or some place in between.
I don’t know about you, but it makes me want to be just a little more patient with the inept cashier or the impatient driver behind me or the telemarketer who interrupts dinner.
Because I hope like hell that when someone sees me with my undone hair and slightly stained t-shirt I was forced to wear today at the library because we just haven’t had time for laundry, dragging a coughing kid behind me and pushing a grouchy kid before me while carrying a large bag of overdue books that they don’t immediately think, “What a loser!” But instead, they smile with sympathy because they have had bad days themselves and know that sometimes this is the best you can do.
Today, I vote for kindness. What say you, friend?