Have you noticed that with the passage of time, more and more individuals (babies, children, and domesticated animals included) have “sensitivities”, “allergies” or some other sort of altered threshold that does not allow them to properly absorb their environment? I have a house full of people with these afflictions to varying degrees, and even the family dog had to have an anti-histamine this past Christmas because he developed “eczema” with troublesome itching. Seriously. When I was in school, I knew one person (ONE) with allergies. Now, I drop my daughter off at preschool and deposit her puffer in a box they use for all of the children’s various ailments.
This phenomenon has spurned some thinking on my part about how society in general has dropped their tolerance levels so low (physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually) that we now are watching the effects manifest in physical ways. I happened to be perusing Facebook several days ago, and read someone’s status wherein they were expressing great disgust at the society’s misunderstanding of this one particular subject that had to do with animals. This one status initiated several responses from fellow animal loving friends who JUST COULD NOT BELIEVE that people in general did not know the difference between specific details of this animal group. One little status had produced a terribly charged conversation where the anger, hostility and resentment was obvious. Initially I laughed…then I pondered. People are so raw…so irritated all of the time that their threshold for handling anything that may be mildly aggravating turns into a major event backed by full blown emotion and mental upheaval. Coping skills are essentially gone and our ability to absorb these stimuli and process them in a “healthy” way is disappearing. Don’t believe me? Try cutting someone off on the road and see how quickly you get the horn and an angry middle finger.
We believe that we have made huge strides over the last century in terms of teaching acceptance, understanding and patience. In certain respects, this is true-in others, we are declining at an incredibly fast pace. The art of “giving someone the benefit of the doubt” (i.e. maybe I really don’t know the difference between a Doberman and a Basset Hound) no longer exists. The act of sharing information for mutual gain is often driven by some ulterior motive. People go from zero to sixty in a heartbeat-no gradual progression of emotion. Is this because we live in a world where everything is immediate…I wonder.
From time to time I’ll have my “deep” moments. One comment that has left my mouth more than once over the last few years is that society is going to eventually just self-destruct. I don’t mean with one swift motion, but more like a slow erosion. Humans are so stressed, frustrated, pushed to their limits and emotionally drained that we’re veering down a scary path. Thinking before reacting takes too much time-something nobody has any excess of. Instead, our outlets become everything around us.
I used to associate the word “sensitive” with pleasant traits…a sense of warmth and compassion. And maybe baby’s skin. Now, I think of the word and the image of a scrape comes to mind-bleeding, raw and in need of attention.