Removing The Knife

Image by Reza Hasannia

We each have good and bad days, but lately even the good days seem to be overshadowed with some virus dread. Most days for me now, I might wake up feeling positive–that things are getting better–but towards the evening, I worry if things will become worse. After a few days of this anxiety, I exhaust myself so much that barely have energy to think clearly; and I can imagine others feel similarly. So I’ve been trying to use more logic in these emotionally trying times. Here’s the best I could come up with so far:

When a situation becomes challenging, fear makes us aware that we can be harmed. If harmed, pain tells us that we can do something about it. But if we choose irrationality, it will say to push the knife all the way through to take it out. And suffering is the resulting consequence of the choice we make.

If we pause to act rationally, we realize that the knife doesn’t need to go deeper. We can assess and act accordingly. But if all we focus on is trying to remove the knife any way possible because of the pain we might do in the worst way possible: pushing it all the way through, even though there are many better ways. As Mike Tyson was famous for saying, “everyone has a plan until they are punched in the mouth.” When we are in pain, it’s difficult to remain coherent. But if we accept pain as part of our lives, we can learn to respond–and not just react–whenever we feel it.


The Panic Of 2020

Photo by luizclas from Pexels

So many of us, since grade school, grew up taught the the idea that it’s important to make a difference. It’s one thing to hear about the great deeds of people like FDR, Dr. King or Gandhi during difficult times; but it’s another experience to be a person who acts consciously when things are difficult. The greatest difference is made during times of difficulty, because kindness becomes a scarce commodity. A great deed can be just calling a friend, to see if they are okay. It could be posting on social media where supplies are still available, and offering to pick some stuff for others. It could be picking up and donating excess supplies to senior communities.

Every act from kindness is a source for greatness. Instead of shaming the people who are acting impulsively and adding fuel to the fire, perpetuating the story of how the world has gone crazy, I suggest another solution: be courageous enough to be the sanity in this passing storm. Because when it all eventually subsides, we will have to look at ourselves and either regret, or be proud, of the people we acted as.