I have felt the need to pull attention. Grab, grasp, latch onto it—the amorphous thing we all desire—as if awareness was a scarce commodity. At times, when you’re parenting children, there can be moments when there’s a shortage, but I think it’s more like our current situation with toilet paper. Stay calm. There’s enough for all.
I’ve often been jealous of the selfish people who could capture everyone’s eye, whether it be beauty or victimhood. As if by gravity—there are plenty of people orbiting around them. I fume. I want to poke their eyes out. Yes, I have issues.
When the Coronavirus started, there were concerns for our elderly parents, actual problems. Whose family was the most vulnerable? Why aren’t we staying home? The weeks have grown long. Somewhere along the way, this all became a competition.
Maybe you know the feeling. There’s a person you talk with about life, and suddenly their tragedy is worse, far worse or their life is more demanding. Sad story. After a time, you’re not chatting. Your blood is boiling because your calm talk is a rivalry.
Conflict is a trigger moment for me. I’ve retrained my response to these moments. I must first remember there’s no shortage of talk time. I can chat with other folks. Second, I respect the other person as best I can, but not to my harm. Sometimes I simply walk away.
We are in strange days. Stay calm. There’s enough for all.
My thanks to Wade Harris for the featured photograph. Find him on Flickr or Instagram.
I’m not a great poet or speaker, but that never stopped me from saying what I felt. Maybe at times I’d be better sitting down and letting others wax poetic. Maybe. It’s a tough call to know when to speak up and when to sit quietly, hands folded. I want that wisdom.
There were times when I’ve spoken, and the words echoed back at me. Awkward. A room full of conflicted expressions and I was reluctant to continue. I wasn’t understood. How do you breach people’s defenses? Do we have an obligation to try?
It’s awkward at best to keep speaking. Usually, we sit. Or grow red in the face, yelling at our new opponent. The enemy has been marked. There’s another strategy to try. Stop the oratory. Become ordinary. Be Joe. Be Jane. Simple people, everyday activities. Change things. It’s alright if you’re not a great spokesperson. Maybe you hated speech class or drama in school.
Do you tell your friends about your favorite TV show? That local dive you went to with your guy last weekend. Did you share those pics on Facebook? Yeah, so did I.
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