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Pandemic Perspectives (April 2022)

This month's perspective comes in the form of a question mark.

You must have had this experience: You're minding your own business and all of a sudden there's a commotion nearby. Someone you don't know is having a meltdown. They're loud, possibly in tears, and so at the end of their rope that they are pretty much hysterical. It's none of your business, but you wonder what in the world just happened.

There are way too many videos on this writer's social media feed showcasing the very best of human attitude and decency (note the sarcasm, please). Most often there is an incident where one of the parties is compelled to whip out their mobile phone to start recording. There is shouting, name calling, threats, and just a complete breakdown of manners. Tensions are high already and it keeps escalating and this writer just can't look away.

Oftentimes there is no context to what we see or hear. Sometimes there is no resolution to the conflict. So we start asking, "What happened? Why are people like this?'

Now do you, dear reader, know why this perspective started with a question mark?

We see these incidents and are able to distance ourselves from them. It doesn't concern us, so there's no need to bother. Instead, we make assumptions based on what little evidence we have. The additional, "Did they have to behave that way?" or "Did you need to lose your cool?" are more questions we ask as we get on our high horse and judge away. It's natural.


When we are able to turn the questions inward on to ourselves we can actually make little life lessons available to us, and these questions would start as "Do I" or Can I". It is, after all, a choice how we behave. We can judge others all we want (a very admirable trait to have, no doubt) but if we can't ask ourselves the same questions, we start losing the ability to self-reflect. And when that happens, we could become the ones on the video, don't you think?

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