It seems like we have gone from one crisis to another over the last 18 months.
There’s been a continual shortage of things.
Starting with the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020, there’s been a hand sanitizer shortage, Lysol, chicken, cat food, chicken again, coins, the cat food somehow never caught back up, and most recently, gas. I’m sure I’m leaving a few out, too.
It’s truly been a non-stop testing of our mettle as the human race.
Thankfully, there seems to be some hope on the horizon but the trauma of the things we have experienced may remain. And a large part of that trauma has been the character that has emerged.
Some of these crises have been worsened by people hoarding.
Looking back at the Charmin situation, people were piling the 2-ply as deep as they could in their buggy. Just like the folks that were putting gas in plastic bags.
I don’t understand taking more than you not only don’t need but could not possibly use in a lifetime.
It’s one thing to be prepared — slightly. Granny always said to have a little put back, just in case. But she didn’t stockpile things or try to make sure she was the only one who had it.
If something was on sale, she’d pick up a couple of extra items.
“What if we don’t use it?” I would ask.
“It’ll get used,” she’d assure me. “If we don’t, someone will.”
I didn’t understand what she meant then, but now I do. She’d have a few extra on hand so if she heard of someone who needed something, she could share.
But people aren’t sharing anymore, are they?
What we’ve seen is people who were trying to get theirs while making sure no one else could get anything.
I get being scared.
Heck, I’ve been scared too. Part of my anxiety disorder involves having slight OCD regarding germs and I was in severe panic mode when I couldn’t find Germ-X last year. That is something I would buy every time I went in a store before — just because I used it constantly.
But what we’ve witnessed is the worst parts of humanity at times.
There was a quote I read a while back, and I can’t find it again to properly attribute it, but the gist of it was, in a crisis, what we need more than hoarding is to get along with our neighbors.
Neighbors doesn’t mean just the ones we live next door to but the people in our community. We have to think about others as well.
Sexy Frank only eats one kind of cat food and it has become harder and harder to find.
When I did find some on the shelves recently, I got a few pouches, but made sure I didn’t take all of it. Someone else may have a finicky, persnickety feline at home too.
It makes me nervous — what if I can’t find more for him, and this is all he will eat? I have to trust I will find it or he will suddenly realize Friskies is good enough.
Yet compassion goes beyond just sharing and looking out for others.
We’re supposed to be a bit kinder, and have empathy for what they are going through. Or as my Mama would say, “There but by the grace of God go I.”
Instead, there’s a notion that some people are better than others and we’ve been pitted against each other because of it. There’s a theory that hard times bring out the best in people. I wish that were the case, but it’s not been what I’ve seen.
Over these months, I have witnessed so many people share some of the most painful, hurtful things on Facebook.
What’s even sadder is a lot of these people profess their faith while they have such hate in their hearts.
I may be treading into some judgy territory, but I don’t think Jesus would be saying things like people shouldn’t be allowed to get gas unless they have a job to go to. That’s a familiar refrain among many people though — a class divide of who deserves what, and usually, they are just looking for reasons to elevate themselves while keeping someone else down.
They easily forget they could be walking that mile in those shoes with one change in circumstance, and if not, they need to be thankful rather than spewing condemnation for likes and shares.
It may have been more than a minute since I’ve sat on a church pew, but last time I checked, that’s not what Jesus would do — not at all.
We’ve had a constant string of shortages, but of all of these things, the most important things we’re lacking are compassion, empathy, kindness, and basic human respect.
There’s plenty of toilet paper on the shelves now, and the gas pipeline was restored last week. And, they say things will be back to normal soon.
I hope our humanity returns too.
Sudie Crouch is an award-winning humor columnist residing in the North Georgia Mountains among the bears, deer, and possibly Sasquatch. You can connect with her on Facebook at Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Humor, and Deep-Fried Wisdom. Her recently published book, ‘Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Wisdom, and Deep-Fried Humor’ is available in paperback and Kindle download on Amazon.