In spite of the recent spike in covid cases, many of us are back out and about this summer. As vaccination numbers have gone up, travel has increased dramatically, airplanes and hotels are full once again, and many businesses are seeing record numbers of people visiting their establishments.
The biggest challenge this presents is most of these businesses simply do not have the people and non-people resources required to meet this huge surge of demand. As a result of this shortage, wait times have gone up everywhere, especially at restaurants as people seem to expect that their favorite place to be exactly like it was before the pandemic. Combine this with the “covid fatigue” we’ve all experienced, ever-changing safety guidelines, along with the constant blaming of one side or another on the 24-hour news cycle and we get the perfect storm for the bad behavior we are witnessing throughout the country.
There is no doubt our patience and tolerance levels have been worn thin. Lately it feels as though even a minor inconvenience is causing the most mild-mannered citizens to completely lose it.
As of this month the FAA has reported over 3000 incidents of unruly passengers on airplanes, 2300 of which involve people who refused to wear a mask. To put this into perspective that’s 2.5 times the number reported in 2019. It’s not just the volume that’s gone up, but the intensity. Just last month an upset passenger punched a flight attendant in the face, knocking out her two front teeth?
On the news the other day, I saw video after video of patrons at restaurant and grocery establishments pushing, shoving and in some cases punching workers when asked to abide by the established rules or regulations. On more than once occasion someone spit on the worker they were having a disagreement with.
What is happening? Where is this coming from? How is it that we have come to express our dislike of a situation like pre-schoolers. At what point has this behavior become OK, or acceptable? Time to step back take a chill pill everyone.
I think we can all agree that this has been an extremely stressful 17 months. From the looks of things, the next few months aren’t going to look much different. Let’s start focusing on what is going right for a change instead of fixating about what’s going wrong.
Time to start showing our fellow citizens the same type of grace we would have others show to us. Imagine if during your workday, while you were doing exactly what you were being asked or paid to do, someone punched you in the face, or spit on you? Really?
Look, I don’t enjoy long wait times any more than the next person, and I would love to be able to discard all of my well-worn masks and never need to use them again, but that just isn’t a reality for the time being.
Can you join me in a pact that the next time I sense myself starting to get impatient because the wait time is a bit longer than I planned, or I’m asked to put on a mask because the establishment is now once again being required us to do so, I will ask the following questions.
- Is this really the hill I plan to die on today? Does this really mean that much?
- Would I rather be out here and wait a bit longer, or on lockdown in my home for the next few weeks or months?
- How would I deal with this person if they were my son, daughter, brother, sister, mother or father?
- Am I focusing on what is going right or what is going wrong?
At some point we are all going to get through to the other side of this pandemic, my hope is that we can all look back on ourselves and be proud that we decided collectively to show a little more grace to each other, and to ourselves.
Cheers to showing a little grace, your success, and most of all your health
One Quarter Turn at a Time
Thoughts for the week:
We have a tendency to want the other person to be a finished product while we give ourselves the grace to evolve. – T.D. Jakes
Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. – Unknown
Grace means giving ourselves and others permission to be a work in progress. – Unknown
Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart rather than a piece of our mind. –Tony Evans