Am I the only person, when seeing someone post on social media regarding the death of another person, or tagging that person who recently passed, clicks on the name and browses their social media timeline? I find it amazing, when browsing their profile, how many of these individuals had posted or commented on a post within the last twenty-four hours preceding their death. I am almost certain that ninety-nine percent of these individuals also weren’t aware that within twenty-four hours, their life here on earth would come to an end. Amazing and sad at the same time.
Here we are in the midst of this global pandemic that began several months ago. It’s been a crazy four months. We have argued and debated over toilet paper, paper towels, diapers, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, to wear or not to wear a mask, and the list goes on! We have watched as states are added and removed, only to be added again, to a travel advisory watchlist, and we have all experienced a change in plans; whether it be wedding cancellations, postponements, vacations being disrupted, etc. It has been one heck of a ride thus far for 2020, and we are only halfway into it. I’m honestly nervous for 2021 to get here because I have no idea what it will bring!
There are things outside our control. There are things in life that no matter how much we think we can control, we can’t. If I was a betting man, I would almost bet everything I have on the fact not one single person reading this, knew we would be where we are right now. We can plan the best we can, even have the perfect plan (to us), and have it all get tossed out within a matter of minutes. Many of you experienced this with different states being put on a travel watchlist. I for one know how it is living in New York, where we currently have 31 states on the no-no list. Travel there and be prepared to spend fourteen days in quarantine upon return! We just can’t control some things. I can plan for a dinner so well put together that Gordon Ramsey himself would praise it, but I can’t guarantee I would be at that dinner. I can plan and plan, but none of it matters unless I’m there to carry those plans out. Aren’t there many who woke up this morning, have great plans for tomorrow, but will never see the sun rise on a new day? The only thing we can certainly plan for in life, and know that those plans will be carried out exactly how we wanted, is our death. That’s a fact.
While there are things way outside our control, even know we may like to think they aren’t, there are certainly things within our control, or scope of influence. You want to know something more contagious than any pandemic the human race has ever faced, what we are facing now, or that any will ever face? Joy. Mindset. Each of us have the ability to control what goes in, how we respond to it mentally and emotionally, and then what comes out. Here’s an example!
Yesterday I was in a convenience store that I frequent often. While waiting in line with my coffee and Twizzlers, a man walked into the store without wearing a face mask or any sort of facial covering. Now I have seen people on social media get really upset and irate about these types of individuals. I’ve seen people report businesses or take photos of individuals not wearing a face mask. I had a mask on. Every other person (about a handful) had one on. The clerks had them on. There were even signs on the door telling people to have them on! How was I going to respond to this? Well, I will admit the first thought that came through my mind was, “Yup, one of them.” But I didn’t say anything, and I made perfectly sure that my body language didn’t give away the thoughts going through my head. I’m not the mask-police. I don’t know this individual and if he has a medical condition that precludes him from wearing a mask. It just wasn’t worth getting upset over. I paid for my items and left the store.
When I got in my car, it was pouring down rain. I mean really pouring! The man left the store as I was driving away, and I noticed him walk around to the back of the store, and grab a bicycle that looked as if it had seen better days. I was immediately emotionally convicted for the negative thoughts I had when he first walked in. Was this man homeless? I do not know.
We control how we respond. I could’ve, like many do, made a scene inside the store, only to find out this man was homeless and didn’t have a face mask. We both would have left the situation losing; me for embarrassing him, but also for making myself look like a complete jerk, and he would have felt embarrassed. Whatever the reason, it really is none of my business.
How many things on social media or in the news, do we see, react, and then wish we could rewind thirty minutes and do over? How many things do we respond to on impulse, only to wish we could take it all back? How many trivial things do we waste our energy on, both mentally and emotionally, that have zero to do with us? There’s so much we can control, but refuse to in a positive way.
Joy. It’s contagious and begins with you and I. We both wake up every day and have the ability to make someone smile or laugh. On the flip side, we can also do the exact opposite. What’s more important, and will make you feel better when the day concludes, and you lay your head on your pillow?
It’s simple. Choose joy.