After spending about an hour at the grocery store today, I think I’ve determined that might be where all the unhappy people are. Not one single person smiled at me…well, some of them I couldn’t tell if they were smiling because they had masks on. I digress.
Being a psychologist, I naturally enjoy performing little social experiments. One of this is seeing how many people I can get to smile at me at the grocery store. Often, I see the most amazing smiles from people. Often, it is like no one has smiled at them in a long time, so it brings refreshment to their souls, and they reciprocate.
Today was the first day no one responded. The woman with her daughter that I bumped into two times…nothing. The old lady in the canned vegetable aisle. No response. The gentlemen, who actually probably knew who I was from our previous church but just didn’t remember me, not a single gleam of his pearly whites.
Instead, the response I got was one of seeming paranoia…like I was the great imagined evil there to spread droplets of virus into their space. I was a threat. I was a foe. I was someone to be avoided. No smiles allowed.
I understand their response in a way. They’ve been told loud enough, and they’ve been told long enough, that there is a big bad wolf out there waiting to devour them. They are afraid of something that has not yet happened to them but is surely to come to them, or so they believe.
Joy and happiness have been robbed replaced with fear and paranoia. Their lives are being controlled by mere humans they have voted into office. Their lives are being controlled by guessing games and misinformation all in the name of science and protection. Once free people are now held captive by their own fears and by their own government. It’s sad really.
God created us for relationship. When you are forced to be socially distanced from others, isolated, told that people are the enemy because they might be a carrier, you are going to be unhappy. I know where all the unhappy people are. They are in every nook and cranny of our society right now.
Emerge my friends. Emerge out of your fears and panic. Emerge out of the distance that has been placed between us. Live, laugh, and love. To not do so will destroy you and thie country worse than any virus can.