During the last seven days, I have driven over 4,000 miles.
I swore I’d never do it again, but I upped my game this time and this trip involved a significant family event, coupled with significant family members. I believe it was a success.
The reason I am telling this story is because if you drive 4,000 miles in seven days, you are likely to meet and interact, albeit casually with lots of people.
This stupid virus (yes, I know that the virus isn’t “stupid”) has taken a toll on society. Some people have chosen to be victims, grumpy, inpatient and just miserable. Others however, shine, using the situation to spread goodness and love.
The government continuing to pay people not to work, coupled with the virus has created a shortage of employees in all types of businesses. Common sense, (remember that?) would tell you that if a restaurant is understaffed, you might want to walk in the door knowing it might take a little longer to get seated, to order and to be served.
Does it make any sense whatsoever to yell at the workers who did come in and who are working extra hard under difficult conditions? I witnessed a few of those situations, one so outrageous that the manager of the restaurant, after trying to satisfy the father/grandfather of a group of 9 (during lunch rush) suggested he might want to go somewhere else as he was not going to tolerate this customer abusing the staff. (We were close enough that I had a front row seat for watching this fool for almost 30 minutes) The guy settled down and since we had the same server, made sure she got lots of smiling politeness along with an extra big tip from me.
Traveling through several states, there were people wearing masks, people wearing masks over their mouth but not their nose, people not wearing masks and people even driving on the Interstate, alone in their vehicles, windows closed wearing a mask. We all have lots of information to digest and it is difficult to sort the facts from the propaganda.
I talked with and engaged with people at gas pumps, in stores and restaurants. Most were doing the best they could, smiling and being polite. That was encouraging and made me feel sorry for the grumpy guy at the Cracker Barrell, off I-81, just North of Roanoke, VA on Monday. He appeared to be surrounded by family, yet he seemed miserable. I wonder why?
Folks, life can be and often is difficult, but we can choose how we respond to those difficulties.
Choose wisely and consider the words attributed to St. Francis:
Photos taken by me (this morning) at the Grotto of Lourdes at Mt. St. Mary’s University, Emmitsburg, MD.