A while back, when we were all suffering the effects of societal insanity, along with the effects of Blackface Hitler and Fat Fascist Fords’ misbegotten pandemic policies, I was having a particularly bad week when my friend and neighbour J had a question about cigars for me.
Now, over the years I have been developing a somewhat sophisticated cigar palate. I am by no means a connoisseur, but I can certainly tell the difference between a gas station cigar, and something decent.
Anyway, J had some “authentic Cuban” Romeo and Juliet cigars, but he had a couple of problems with them, and he wanted a second opinion.
Over the course of examining them, I learned two things.
First, they were counterfeits. However, this is not a story about identifying real Cubans, which brings me to…
Second, J was having a bad go with his PTSD. He’s an Afghanistan war veteran and has seen some shit.
Now, I don’t know a god damned thing about PTSD. And J doesn’t know a god damned thing about severe clinical depression.
But, it turns out we don’t actually need to know anything about the other guy’s affliction. Simply having a mental health problem, and understanding that the other guy needed someone to listen, was all either of us needed.
J unloaded a bunch of shit on me, and a funny thing happened. Even though it was primarily his time, for his problems, I went home feeling better about mine.
The simple act of helping someone else helped me.
Which brings me to this morning, wherein I went grocery shopping and one of the discount grocers. The people there are NOT shopping at Whole Foods, or Trader Joe’s, and the atmosphere tends to gloom and stress, if not outright desperation.
On three separate occasions I made a little comment, or joke at my own expense, and put smiles on the faces of people who were not having particularly good days.
And I left that store with a smile on my face, and a bounce in my step.
So smile, it’ll brighten someone else’s day, and in the process, brighten your own.
And if all else fails, it’ll leave them wondering what you’re up to.