Poor Mask!

19 Sep

There it was. Smashed flat in the parking lot.
I can just see someone running in mad circles,
hands above his head, and shouting “I can’t take it anymore!”
The poor guy had been on the edge all day. Too much
news, 105 degree heat again, the store was out of his
favorite yogurt, the sit-in-your-car line at the coffee
place was about 15. He was looking for any reason
to rip off his mask and yell: “I’ve had enough!”

And he did. There it was on the yellow line, an admission
that even the best plans can jump the rails. “Be Kind”.
Sounds easy. Not always. Life can deal some powerful
low blows, and when they come one after another
there is the temptation to stomp on your “Be Kind” mask
and scream at the person parked next to you.

But don’t.
You won’t feel any better.
All the thorns that caused the
temper tantrum will still be there when
you sit exhausted on the curb.
Before you let out the first bellow,
talk to yourself. Are other people having
the same experiences? Yes. Do you want your
neighbor to see you jumping up and down on a
helpless little mask? No. Would it be better to take
ten deep breaths and calm yourself? Probably.
Do you want to explain all this, in public, to the
law enforcement officer? Definitely not.

Sing a song. Hum a tune. Whistle. Pray.
Turn cartwheels. Whatever it takes.
It wasn’t your “Be Kind!” mask’s fault,
anyway. We’re all in the same lousy boat,
but we’ll find solid ground again.
In the meantime, be kind to your
“Be Kind!” mask. And to your neighbor.
And to yourself.

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