Minutes after my post about finding a new title for this blog, I was inspired. Politicians often use the term "Ordinary American" to describe people like me -- a middle-class, average income American that works for a living. I find the term somewhat condescending, but I also find it to be an appropriate title for this blog. It sets the tone and perspective, and keeps the expectations set by the previous title at a more manageable level, which in turn creates less stress for the author. I'm all about decreasing the stress wherever I can!
I like to think of myself as a caring person, and attempt to behave compassionately towards others. Sometimes I fall short in that effort, but failing is what humans do, and successful humans learn from failure. I'd like to discuss what I believe is one of my more recent failures, and what I've come to learn about what's behind it. When the masking guidance and mandates first dropped, it short-circuited me. I reacted in disbelief, anger, and refusal to enter places that required masks. Masking was a simple act that was both scientifically and morally justified. I wondered if I really was a decent person, or if this reflexive pushback was just uncovering undiagnosed sociopathic tendencies. I started to wonder if my outward behaviors of positivity and kindness were just facades that I'd constructed around a dark psyche. Given the rhetoric surrounding mask-wearing, which can — as far as I understand — be reduced to “you're a monster if you don't do this,” it was ha