I’ve been thinking about some lines in Don Henley’s song, “The Heart of the Matter” recently:
These times are so uncertain
There’s a yearning undefined
People filled with rage
We all need a little tenderness
How can love survive in such a graceless age?
They could certainly speak of our own pandemic age. Like you, I’ve seen the news where store employees have been spat on and even shot for asking someone to wear a mask. That sort of behavior wears me down, and I think that maybe I’ll never leave my house again.
But, ironically, all I have to do is leave my house to be reminded there is a lot of graciousness in a ‘graceless age.’ Just last week, I was waiting to check out at the supermarket. Standing the requisite six feet behind the customer ahead of me, I still witnessed what happened.
The woman was masked and had bought her own shopping bag. She had used it instead of a basket, so she was unloading her items from it as she was being checked out.
Then she looked at the bagger and asked, “What makes you safer: using the bag I brought or the plastic bags here?”
Probably, from a scientific perspective, there wasn’t much difference between the two. But I bet it made those employees’ day, to have someone ask them about their comfort level.
And I made a promise to the universe to follow her example: even after this pandemic age is over.