The karma of kind
One can certainly agree with us when we pronounce that the COVID-19 pandemic that has us all in its grip at the moment is bringing out the best in some people, and the worst in others. We know firsthand of two instances where the most unbecoming aspects of humanity have shown themselves. One happened at a local box store. We saw a woman loading her large shopping trolley with multiple cans of baby formula and jars upon jars of processed baby food. Another woman approached the shelves and, finding them freshly emptied, asked the woman with the overloaded cart if she could have just one can of the formula, and four jars of food.
“No! It’s mine! First come first served,” snapped the cart-pushing woman as she marched away with enough baby supplies to service a busy daycare for three months.
The other miserable example of ugliness occurred in a local grocery story. A woman had taken her 86-year old father out to get some necessities. As they wandered the empty paper goods aisle looking for toilet paper (what else?), they spied four lone boxes of tissues. “We’ll take two, and leave the other two for someone else,” the daughter told her father. As the elderly man was lifting his two small boxes off the shelf, a woman came racing up the aisle and lit upon the man, grabbing his tissue boxes and shouting – literally shouting – “Mine, mine, they are mine!” The poor man, too stunned to know what was happening, staggered back and automatically relinquished the boxes, but his daughter, who apparently was in the armed forces in a previous life, reacted more quickly, and grabbed the attacking woman’s arm. The tissue taker then struck the daughter’s face, to which her reaction was a good solid shove into the shelving unit. Long story short, the father had to have the back of his hand looked at where the tissue taker had gouged a hole with her fingernail when she launched herself at him. The tissue taker was taken away by security.
Shame. Shame is what both the tissue taker, and the baby food lady, and any other person who has stepped on another to get what they want in these unprecedented times, should feel. We want to wish that the coronavirus would deliver them a blow that would make them think twice about being so wretched, but it isn’t nice to wish ill upon people. And we need to be nice right now.
Nice like the Facebook group that’s calling itself Uxbridge Helping Hands. Nice like the gentleman in our Classifieds who’s willing to help. Nice like our loyal advertisers at Coldwell Banker, who gave up a week’s ad spot to tell the township that they are on call, not to sell you a house, but to help you while you’re stuck in your house.
So many of our local businesses are working hard to maintain a sense of normalcy through a time that is anything but normal. Curbside delivery of a coffee? Doable! Curbside delivery of your medications? Also doable! We can’t be close to one another physically right now, so why can’t we forge links and bonds that transcend physicality? A kindness, a good deed – they shouldn’t be heroic acts right now, they should be the norm. We don’t know for how long this could go on. If we want to come out on the other side with our health and sanity intact, we have to not only heed the rules, but heed one another. The Golden Rule applies here: do unto others as you’d have done unto you. And if you don’t, remember – karma is a b@!$#. Who just might need toilet paper.