Today in the Costco parking lot, I experienced parking space road rage. If you saw the 1991 film, “Fried Green Tomatoes,” you might remember the Kathy Bates kerfuffle in the parking lot. I still have no idea why the woman went off on me today. None of it made any sense.
In the moment, I gave no response. Literally. I just stared back at her like, huh? Afterward, I tried to brush it off, not let it get me down. I pulled out coping tools from my toolbox (specifically from the “moping tools” section because the incident made me sad). I pulled out the big tool I call my “Maybe she/he/they are going through something terrible and I caught them in a bad moment” tool. That’s a heavy tool but it’s an effective tool.
Maybe she just lost someone or maybe she just lost her business. Maybe she’s losing her faith.
Collectively, we are all going through a tough time. For many, it’s a terrible moment.
My newsfeed here is generally schizophrenic. Right now more than ever. Your feed is probably similar if you have diverse “friends.” Sure, we’re all entitled to our opinion. Facebook itself teases us with that oblong box that begs, “What’s on your mind?”
“Well, lemme’ tell ya!” Some friends tend to have the same theme, the go-to rant. If they’re not writing an original post from their own brain, fomenting about some conspiracy or the opposing political party or politician, they’re reposting a brilliant, cutting meme. Ooooh, that’ll get ‘em. They know exactly what’s going on, it’s all a hoax, don’t mess with my freedom, you’re one of the sheeple, you can’t believe the numbers, etc. Let’s take the last one: You can’t believe the numbers.
Okay, I’ll bite. And I agree. At least on some level.
Some say the numbers are bad due to false reporting—they’re inaccurate and blown out of proportion for financial or political gain. AND some say there is underreporting, that there are far more cases of Covid19 than we know.
So what do we truly know?
What do you know for sure?
On which side do you want to err?
I am of the opinion that if you are constantly shouting this is all overblown, we have no reason to wear a mask, we shouldn’t listen to Fauci, etc., I’m begging you—begggging you—to consider that your voice may influence someone else’s behavior. And that behavior can literally have deadly consequences. Your voice=someone else’s behavior=someone can get sick=someone might die.
Maybe you’re having a hard time—maybe you’re feeling out of control, powerless like never before, desperately afraid… and the way you like to cope is by shouting in the parking lot or shouting in your newsfeed. This makes you powerful. I mean it, this makes you powerful.
It has an impact.
I say to you, as I say to myself, as we say to our two-year-old grandson: Take a breath. This too shall pass. In more contemporary language, we might say, It’ll go away like things go away.
Some use that line as a way to deny reality. I don’t mean it that way at all. I just mean that all of this is temporary.
The hardest truth is that it will be even more temporary for some. Not all of us will survive. Based on at least some of the numbers that have to be right, this fact is undeniable. Some of us have already lost someone we love.
Maybe that woman today in the Costco parking lot lost someone.
During this unprecedented time—in this tough moment—on which side will you err; how will you care?