Today, I had two instances where my tendency to prejudge people based upon scant information proved incorrect.
In the first instance, a camp administrator contacted me via text repeatedly over the last ten days asking for information already provided as well as new items to fulfill the organization’s need for proper insurance coverage and other paperwork. This person also had a very monotone delivery over the phone. Combined, my judgment of this person was “I don’t like her and this camp is a pain in the a—.”
In the second instance, another administrator was doing the exact opposite. I emailed her repeatedly and received no response from her or her boss. Eventually, I called and got her predecessor’s voicemail. My conclusion was, “This person is not responding and respecting me and I don’t like her either.”
In both cases, I was absolutely and completely wrong. Each of these clients turned out to be smart, caring and child-centered. My judgment was like a poison inside of me and I was projecting it onto others. But why was this happening?
Number 1 is that people’s communication skills HAVE taken a dive. In the main, excellent and prompt communicators are now just okay and formerly average communicators are now horrible. I count myself in that first group. I’m no longer as attentive or quick to respond. My sense from talking to other people is that many of us are experiencing “ghosting” from friends, family and business contacts.
Number 2 is that I’m more short-tempered. My tolerance, patience and understanding are all a bit frayed. Most of the time I catch myself before saying something I’ll regret later, but I find myself shaking my head and thinking,”I don’t know how much longer I want to wait before becoming a hermit and living off of squirrel stew and berries in some remote cabin.”
I’m kidding, of course, because in truth I love people and hate squirrel stew. I just find that there’s a lot of sloppiness out there these days. It’s true for me, too. Sigh.
This leads me to number 3 which is this: we are all of us experiencing more stress due to the combined chaos of Covid, global climate fear (and actual changes), a proxy war with Russia and a Cold War with China, economic insecurity, cultural upheavals and partisanship on a level that feels like there’s no hope.
More than anything else, I sense an undercurrent of hopelessness around me. But as an idealistic children’s artist, I’ve been and will continue to be a peaceful warrior against the spread of hopelessness. So, let me finish with a positive thought.
I’m going to redouble my effort to be loving, to find, create and sustain energy in myself that I can then give away through my art, friendships and business dealings. I’m going to try and NOT prejudge people, but give them the benefit of doubt, instead.
Lastly, I’m going to protect myself and my sacred energy from thoughts, situations and people who have completely succumbed to negativity or evil doings. For example, today I am deciding to stop reading The NY Times or watching the Sunday news shows. I don’t need to watch the next year and a half of politics as usual because there’s nothing there that will promote love. On the contrary, the news cycle is growing negative energy in me. So, that stops. Instead, I’ll be on a quest for good music – listening, playing, dancing and writing.
I hope we get to share a song, some laughs or a hug together, soon.