Sometimes there are no words to explain how people can behave so badly. Grown people. People who should know better.
I stood there stunned with my heart racing, clutching my terrified grandson’s hand.
People behaving VERY badly
Recently I went with my family members (there were 5 adults, a teenage girl, a toddler boy, and an infant girl) to a hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina for a doctor’s appointment for my grandbaby daughter. As we were all getting into an elevator, a woman and her two sons were standing outside of the elevator causing quite a scene. The woman was cursing very loudly while the two young men stood there, forlorn and embarrassed. She was very angry at the doctors for some reason and was cursing violently.
As the elevator doors were closing, my three-year-old grandson said something about the screaming and yelling. I said to him “No, honey we don’t act like that.” Meaning, no, we don’t yell and cuss. I didn’t mean for anyone to hear me but him, but clearly, I didn’t speak quietly enough.
The irate woman assumed that I was speaking to her and turned her screaming toward me, physically charging the elevator doors, thankfully too late to enter the elevator with us. She assumed that my being white meant that we “white people” don’t act like her (I can tell this by the things she was yelling at me — none of which I can repeat here) and as the doors to the elevator closed, I stood there stunned with my heart racing, clutching my terrified grandson’s hand.
I knew instantly I had made a terrible mistake
“I don’t know why people are so angry. Or why we have lost the ability to just be kind to each other.”
We exited the elevators and the woman, followed by her two pleading sons, were soon right behind us. She was still screaming and causing a terrible scene.
The woman followed us to the parking deck, continuing her tirade. We hurried out of the parking deck to the street as we were so rattled that finding our car and doing it in a closed environment seemed like a terrible idea. The woman was now threatening to throw my two grandbabies, now crying, into the street to watch them get run over.
Babies! Clearly, this woman was very unstable and we were terrified.
We ignored and ignored and she kept ranting but eventually moving away from us and down the street. We made our way back into the hospital and had the staff at the desk call security for us.
Three weeks later my anxiety over this event was still dominating my thoughts, the trauma still fresh in my mind.
I don’t know why people are so angry. Or why we have lost the ability to just be kind to each other. Just see each other as human beings. We are all here with the same love in our hearts for life and family, hopes and dreams, visions for what our life could be, struggles and bills, health concerns, losses, moments of laughter.
“If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.” — Chinese Proverb
We all look in the mirror and analyze the way our hair sticks up or how the arch of our brow looks weird on one side or whether or not our hair looks grayer today or whether or not we look like our Uncle Ray.
We all think about death and traffic. We all get hungry. And we all need kindness.