R U OK?
This question was emblazoned on a bright yellow t-shirt with a smiley face, gifted from Hubby’s place of employment several years ago. It’s been the butt of jokes ever since.
Folks can’t even talk to their own loved ones about how they’re really feeling, but the wise guys in Human Resources imagine a worker will feel motivated to show and tell thanks to a cheesy slogan on a free t-shirt. That’s a special brand of marketing brilliance right there.
I suppose there’s more than a few veterans who feel this way, too—they need to communicate how they’re feeling as a form of psychic hygiene—yet when they do there’s a half a dozen ‘highly-trained’ shrinks taking notes and filling the next DSM with their dysfunctional honesty and using their confessions to prescribe a list of solutions based entirely on poppycock.
Happy. Sad. Angry. Bored. Afraid. Please to check appropriate box. That’s become, please to choose appropriate emoji.
But, How are you really feeling? These times are being prescribed as the days that try men’s souls—so I am asking out of sincere caring—how are you really feeling? I suspect you don’t even have sufficient words to describe it, since feelings came long before words, which is why man had to invent art. And then reduce it to emojis.
Did you ever consider that love and fear are both feelings of petrification? They are emotions of freezing in time and space. They serve to protect the species through seduction. In love we long for time to stand still, yet it races. In our memory or recollection it takes hours to sift through minutes. As in fear time seems to stand still, an agonizing splitting into nanoseconds.
Where were you when JFK was shot? Who told you about 9/11? What were you doing when the hurricane hit? Why didn’t you evacuate/shelter in place/donate/volunteer/follow orders/surrender your weapon/buy ammo/plant a garden . . .??
How are you really feeling? Does it fit in the box?
Fear, like love, are the static aspects of feelings that are meant to cause actions—those of survival—run for your life, or care for another’s.
Does fear, or love, inspire you to action? Why, or, why not?
Please feel free to reply at length in space below. True empathic response to follow.