Jeanette Sekan
Jeanette Sekan
By Jeanette Sekan
The Cody (Wyo.) Enterprise
HCP columnist


Well, I had a bizarre experience to go along with a bizarre week.

I went early to the store, parked, rolled the windows down a bit for the dogs, put on my mask and then headed for the door. I’m usually in my own mental zone when it comes to shopping. Therefore, I’m oblivious to what is going on around me.

There weren’t many cars, but I heard a faint sound of what I assumed was an argument. I didn’t pay much attention, until it dawned on me this person in a car driving slowly up the lane was screaming at me. He was quite angry and seemed to be particularly aggrieved about my mask.

It took me a few seconds to get into the moment, but he seemed aggrieved by several things, most of which can’t be printed in a family paper. I kept walking, didn’t engage. However, the brief experience was a bit jolting. I didn’t know this person.

I went about my business, but the experience was front and center as I continued my shopping. I first thought about these crazy times and how it is affecting so many people in different ways. I wondered if he were just a nut, then I started thinking a little more.

That’s usually a mistake for me, but nonetheless … Maybe he left home and forgot to take his meds; maybe he was nervous since the election (at that time not decided) wasn’t going as he hoped based on the bumper stickers on the vehicle and the epithets he was spewing; maybe he was having a bad day.

I know what it feels like to have a bad day. As of yet, I’ve never engaged in uncontrollable screaming at perfect strangers.

As I thought more about this, it became more disconcerting. Part of me realized that perhaps I need to pay closer attention to my surroundings; part of me realized that had I been more aware or engaged this could have quickly escalated to a situation I am not prepared for; part of me felt sadness for the obvious anger and tension another individual was feeling, for whatever reason(s).

While this person displayed a serious lack of impulse control, there was something palpable happening for this individual, and he was using me – a stranger – as the target of his grievance(s). Suddenly, it seemed a familiar, and sad, refrain for the past few years.

It’s apparent this is the reality for so many with whom we share a community. With the election thankfully soon behind us, we are now living with every other person we meet having a completely different view of their neighbors and the world in general.

That was a sobering, disconcerting and frightening thought. While one person will soon take the oath of office for the most powerful position on the planet, and with the promise to govern for all rather than a few, it struck me that the road ahead remains difficult. Hopefully, we can all take a breath and be more mindful of our surroundings, and the pain and fear of others.

The Golden Rule is needed today more than ever.