As we all know, it’s the flu season. I forgot to get a flu shot, and what happened in the last month or so in my life has been very sad. Several points during my day at work I would experience a loss of a will to live, due to it all being so hard. Normal interactions with others would require tons of efforts whereas before it wouldn’t. The result? Public disclosures of “how many days I’ve been in “cold” and how I feel now, <<virtually wanting to alter my career to “being in hermitage” so I could avoid public interactions altogether>> so if you could please excuse moi,” just so that people around me wouldn’t think I’m mad at them. I did get some assuring, understanding smiles given in my way.
The truth is, I wasn’t mad at them. I was actually dealing with my own stuff just so that I could go through my day, and “exist.” But I couldn’t stop noticing something; how much my “condition” kept me from reaching out, saying hello, and generally being more generous with others. It seemed as if the simple daily pleasures of seeing friends and making small chat were taken away. Being a loving, kind person inside and out was not an option, at least for the duration of two-weeks.
What I learned from this experience is that I can never judge someone, for seemingly being mean or having a bad day. As Plato famously says everyone is going through a difficult battle of their own. We can never see what they’re dealing with unless we’ve stepped into their shoes. Sometimes, and I say this with care, one doesn’t have the option to be generous, to extend kindness to to others. But at other times, by all means, it’s a privilege, and how a word, a gesture an action effects others around you can be a testament to the power it has to give life itself, even as life is rife with rhino virus and what not, and in a way that makes even accepting the morbidity of rhinovirus itself seem rational. So, life is good.