I was walking into the Fresh Market recently, and as I was breezing in to grab my monk fruit sweetener and semolina flour, I saw a sign asking that you have a face-covering before entering the store. I didn’t have a face-covering. I planned to be in and out of the store within minutes, only grabbing the two items from the same aisle. I could feel the judgment of the other patrons. I could feel the judgment from the check out clerk. I can feel your judgment now, even as you read this.
And 94,000 cases of fear. People are afraid. They fear that they will get sick. They are scared the people they love will become ill or even die. They are worried that the economy will never recover. Some people were on their way to retirement but will now be working a few more years. Some who were living paycheck to paycheck are buying groceries on their credit cards.
We are all afraid of losing what we have and not getting what we want.
No one wants to admit to being afraid, so this fear turns into self-righteous, justified anger. I saw a Facebook post about a man in a store wearing a “F* COVID” shirt. He was belligerent about not wearing a mask, and the person posting the comment told him that he was wrong in a polite way that garnered the support of all the people around her. They applauded. He left in a huff, not purchasing the items he came to the store for in the first place.
People listen, this exchange between belligerent man, Facebook poster, and patrons of the store is a microcosm of what’s happening all over our country. Can we just not? Our communities are being plagued more by our intolerance and lack of compassion than COVID. Cut it out already. Just stop.
If we are all “in this together,” then why are we judging one another? You may feel very strongly that you are right, and others are wrong. Before you get all bowed up and tell me that indeed you ARE right, consider that all the information we receive comes from people with their own biases. All people have points of view, including you and me. We all process information with “confirmation bias.”
As an example, I can watch an episode of “The Cosmos” with Neil DeGrasse Tyson and marvel and the creativity of God. At the same time, my atheist friend interprets the same episode as definitive proof of God’s non-existence. It’s all in your perception.
The next time you feel like you absolutely must post that article on social media, pause. When you see someone doing something that you consider wrong, pause. During that pause, allow the Spirit of God to intervene. Allow that Spirit to speak to your heart’s ear.
Let us use this time to cultivate kindness, compassion, and tolerance. Let’s not allow this time to divide us even more so that we were before.
Just be sweet, y’all.
Just for Today
When I feel myself judging others, I will pause and identify that I’m afraid. Today, I will recognize that fear isn’t real. It’s just something that my mind has made up, and I will tap into Perfect Love.
Oh dear God, can you please help me not be so damned judge-y. Help me see your other kids as you do. Please show me that there is good in ALL of us, even in people who’s actions go against my values. Teach me tolerance and grace.