As I continue to adjust to life in the time of COVID, concepts and ideas that had previously gone unnoticed in my world, now have ample time to take center stage. Our once busy lives filled with work and activities have slowed down for most of us to a snail’s pace. Island time has lost is crown as the most leisurely measure of moments, supplanted by Quarantine time and clock hands with barely perceptible movements.
It never takes much to send me off on some untrodden path of thought. Like Little Red Riding Hood, I’m so focused on the destination, that I don’t see the obstacles or impediments lurking around blind curves or sheltered from sight by soaring timbers. My thought basket was packed in this instance with goodies of gratitude and parcels of positivity. My journey’s course was set for a missive that would hopefully inspire and shine light in our overcast days of uncertainty.
Staying positive and keeping my blessings square in my sights has been a key component for me to remain in a mindset of faith vs. fear. I’ve been especially attuned to how our current situation has unified so many of us. Rich, poor, young, old; we are all in this together. Of course there are degrees of distinction between how deeply each are effected, but if you look at the panoramic view rather than the microscopic…the vista is very similar.
We’re not only finding a sense of unity, but we’re also becoming more connected than I can recall us being in the recent past. Young people phoning their older relatives to make sure their needs are met. Neighborhoods gathering at designated hours for social distancing compliant dance parties. Even entire communities applauding out their windows and doors for the essential workers keeping the world spinning.
The fact that we can create such heartfelt moments in times of tragedy is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. When we work together towards a single purpose we all benefit and make this life something to behold. It’s been moving me to the point of tears regularly.
I’ve always tried to have a heart of gratitude, but the world can beat it down. Sadly, this time has been no different. While basking in the revelry of my fellow citizens of the Earth, a foul stench seeped in. The distinctive scent of arrogance and belittlement. My stomach churned instantly as if stumbling across some decomposing bit of rot while gleefully skipping through the woods.
It permeated my senses and distracted me from my goal. This lurking musk from the wolves of the world. Wolves in their animal form serve a much needed purpose in the circle of life. The lupine-like human versions walking upright, however, hold no noticeable benefit barring Lon Chaney movies or Warren Zevon songs.
Yet there they were, lying in wait, ready to pounce on contentment with a ravenous appetite. The scold culture. The nagging harpies of the world who are always dissatisfied and want your company in their misery. Always willing to divert their beady red eyes away from something that might make them feel grateful or blessed, and hone in instead on the things they can preach about.
The most disappointing fact is, if we allow them to, they can absolutely steal our shine. Coating our surfaces with their murky negativity so the light can neither penetrate, nor reflect and provide light for others. Such was the case for me recently and my charted path took a detour down a much darker bridleway.
At my age I really should know better. Things are never perfect where humanity is concerned. There will always be pitfalls and marshes making the trek more complicated. I allowed myself to get caught up in the why of it though. Why can’t people be grateful? Why is the negative such a draw for their thoughts? Why can they not understand that there are many roads to Rome and that not everyone has to do it exactly the way they do?
It was that last questions that brought me to my theory. The scolds can’t see beyond their own perspective. They don’t take the time to practice empathy, much less introspection. They are completely and thoroughly convinced that they have the only key to the chest of world knowledge and the rest of us are idiots for not following their lead. There is no room for anything out of lockstep adherence and if you dare buck that trend, you will be castigated, trolled, and placed in stocks in the town square for all of their hive-minded friends to toss tomatoes at.
Creativity cannot blossom in an environment like that. Neither can innovation nor growth. The monochromatic landscape of everyone only thinking like everyone else does would be as bland as a barren field in winter. I don’t want to bear witness to a world lacking in the vibrant color of a field of wildflowers. I want to celebrate the midtones and hues of each distinct variety. I want each bud and plant to line the edges of my walk through this life, be it through woods, valleys, or mountainous peaks.
Instead of falling prey to their ways, I should have practiced the preaching that I’ve always adhered to and that I’m wishing that they would as well. Stay the course. Be the light that others can reflect while at the same time reflecting the light of others. Color your world with as the as many choices from the super-sized Crayola boxes that you need to draw your own landscape. Join those shining beacons and colorful artworks together to cast out the negativity and greys to ensure the way is well lit and welcoming. Doing so will guarantee the basket of goodies reaches its destination with a beautiful view while traveling. Even though it seems we have all the time in the world at the moment there is still much good that can be done, so for me there’s never enough time for the distraction of scold culture.