Between the Lines



Today was a day. A day where it starts off wrong and seems to melt from there forward. I hate those days. Not because I can’t handle a bad day, but because what it does to me. I’m human. As much as I try to be patient and understanding, today I was the opposite.

From one thing to the next, I became more and more irritated. I took a lunch break and pulled out behind a man in a truck. He was driving well under the speed limit and I found myself getting very angry at him.

Later, before going home, I stopped by the supermarket. The cashier was taking an unusually long time to make change and again, I found myself getting angry. I never said anything, but I didn’t like the feeling.

When I got in my car I sat there for a minute. I saw a lady walk past my car with her cart full of groceries and just as she neared her vehicle it got away from her and slammed into the side of her SUV… and left a mark.

I realized that I wasn’t the only person having a bad day. I laughed at myself. Not because of her misfortune, but at my allowance of a bad day to mess with my mind. The man in the slow truck was probably driving around buying Christmas gifts in the spirit of giving. The young cashier was probably having her first day on the job and rather than being understanding, I was selfish and thought only about myself.

If ever there is a season to cut someone a break, it’s now. With all the political unrest in the world, social injustice and downright hate all around, we just need to cut each other a break. We should love without question; accept with compassion; understand with an open mind and open ears; and be kind in an unkind world. I learned today that I could use a refresher course in all those areas. But I am glad the universe put me in check. It’s days like today that I realize I need to give myself a break sometimes, too.

Until next time, I hope you find something new here in Blount County. It’s a good old place to call home.

-Richard Phillips