Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Fragile Fabric

Most of us, including myself, are usually unaware of how fragile the fabric of society and civility are until something happens that dispels any fantasy of virtue, kindness, brotherly love, and all those other heartwarming tropes that have little basis in reality. When you witness it if only in a microcosm, you realize how rapidly society can descend into chaos, doing its best to re-enact the Mad Max movies.

A night before last, my wife wanted to make the girls mashed potatoes, to go along with the chicken she’d baked, and the broccoli she’d steamed. The only problem was that we’d run out of potatoes, so she asked if I could go to the store and pick some up. Being the awesome, selfless husband that I am, I threw on a pair of sneakers, a jacket, and a hat, and braved the tempest to go get potatoes. If my babies want mashed potatoes, it’s mashed potatoes they’ll get. And yes, before you ask, my wife insists on making mashed potatoes from whole potatoes—no boxes or powders. You peel, quarter, boil, drain, add sour cream and butter, then mash the potatoes. Even to remind her that there are easier ways to make them will garner that look all husbands know well, and that shuts down the conversation before it begins.

Anyway, off track. I’d picked up a bag of potatoes, and was rolling my car through the store trying to remember what else shed’ asked me to pick up when I heard a commotion from two isles away. I sped up just a little, you know, curiosity and the such, and I saw two adult women, shoving at each other, their voices getting louder and louder.

I didn’t want to seem nosy even though I was, so I pretended to pass by the aisle, made a U-turn, and came back the same way, trying to figure out what they were fighting over. That’s when I spotted both of them holding the same bottle of Purell, one from the bottom, and one from the top, neither seeming to want to let go.

Purell! Adult women were yelling and shoving at each other over Purell. Granted, it was the last bottle on the shelf, but we’re not talking about basic essentials here like clean water, heart medicine, or food.

If we are willing to descend to shoving and shouting matches over Purell when you know, soap was in abundance on the same shelf, imagine what it would be like if every store shelf was bare, there was nothing to be had, and luxuries we take for granted like supermarkets, credit cards, drive-thru restaurants, and civil order were no more.

Given the overreaction we’ve seen of late, I would hazard to conclude that this present generation is far less ready, both psychologically and physically, to cope with a breakdown of civil society, than any other generation that came before it.

Panic first reason later seems to be the motto of the hour, and panicked people are dangerous people. We often wonder if those verses in the Bible talking about men’s hearts failing them for fear of what is to come are hyperbolic, or exaggerated for effect, but the recent reaction to something that in the great scheme of things is not an extinction-level event by any stretch, tells us that they are not.

If you are His, be still and know that He is God. If you are not His, time is finite, and fading fast. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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