Isn’t that phrase something that is repeated so often to children growing up?
I was watching Patton Oswalt’s latest stand-up special, Annihilation, this past week and he takes a decent amount of time to address something that has been on everyone’s minds: how is he coping since the death of his wife?
Towards the end of this set is when he discusses life after becoming a widower, and it’s told with Oswalt’s trademark wit and love and is a very humble experience. I felt like I was watching a friend come to terms with life and how they’re able to pick themselves up.
One thing sticks with me from the special, though.
Patton Oswalt recants this late wife, Michelle McNamara, telling him one constant in this world: “It’s chaos. Be kind.”
Why is it today this is such a hard concept? Accept the world is chaos and just be kind – don’t contribute to the chaos.
Most episodes of my podcast end with a sign-off telling listeners to “take care of each other out there,” which is an inspiration from comic and host Ellen DeGeneres. I say it because I believe in that saying. I believe we should do our best to take care of each other.
This is not to say that to every homeless person you see you give them some cash or a sandwich. This is not to say to the person that cut you off on the freeway (probably me) shouldn’t get flipped off (which occurs often to me).
Start small. Maybe partake in the “Pay It Forward” movement – you know, the one where you pay for your meal at the drive-thru window, then pay for the person behind you. As someone that has done this and had this done to them, it’s an amazing feeling at the moment that both events occur.
Donate extra change to those bell-ringers that we’ll all start seeing soon enough.
Run a fundraiser for a charity. But take time to properly plan this. I’m not saying my recent “Switch4Sunshine” event wasn’t a success (because it totally was), but it did end up causing some unnecessary stress on me because of a few whoopsies that I didn’t do my due-diligence on.
At the end of the day, we should remember that we’re all human beings on this planet and we’re all trying to survive each day the best we can. Most live in these bubbles that ignore the plight of everyone else. Have your bubble, but help those around you. Be a better human.
After all, it’s chaos. Be kind.