Sensitivity is not a crime

Published 10:33 am Thursday, October 22, 2020

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When I was a little girl, my parents would often say, “Lynn, you are too sensitive!” Yes, I would cry at the drop of a hat, and my feelings were hurt regularly. Bullies frightened me, and I despised when whispers floated in front of me. I hated strife, ridicule, and injustice toward anyone.

I did not like, understand, or enjoy possessing such a fragile nature. Being too sensitive was a cross I knew I must bear for the remainder of my life as if it were a cosmic defect in my character.

“Grow thicker skin!” Friends would say. However, all I seemed to develop were more freckles and rashes on my sensitive epidermis. When they would advise that I should harden my heart, I did not comply.

How was I going to live in a perplexing world without growing a thick skin or hardened heart? The task was daunting and often still is.

My grandmother believed my sensitivity meter was near where it should be. She could turn my tears to laughter in a heartfelt minute with her humor. She also taught me to always “walk a mile in another’s shoes” to achieve understanding for our fellow brothers and sisters.

My grandmother declared, “Shoot, honey, the most sensitive person I ever met was Christ.” “How’d you meet Christ?” I asked as a child. “Through the good book!” She continued, “The Bible will tell you how the Lord treated the downtrodden, the lepers, the sinners, the homeless, and how he was crucified because he didn’t follow a popular path.” “There are a bunch of folks who would have labeled the Lord too sensitive, forgiving, or compassionate!” She added.

Today, I wonder where our sensitivity has gone? Pigeonholing, ostracizing, branding, shouting, and whispering have replaced sensitive thoughtfulness. Plus, folks now applaud such horrendous conduct! I pray much of it will end after the election but has the damage been too much? Have we forgotten how to be considerate toward others and their beliefs? How many times have we witnessed despicable actions this year? We are fighting to survive a pandemic, and yet, many keep adding to the pain with a lack of caring or concern.

For example, I hear folks publicly declare the coronavirus is a hoax or overblown. I wonder how the families of 220,000 Americans who have died or who barely survived feel after hearing such a dismissive statement? How do the exhausted teams of caregivers and the medical community react when they overhear such flippant words? 

I think it is time to wash away our thickened skin and add a softener to our hearts. Let us rest the battle politics wages and concentrate on wellness. Go vote and accept the next four years. What we should never do is accept lasting callousness. We need to remember the grandmothers who told us to not whisper lies, not demean or mock another, and to walk that mile in another’s shoes. Perhaps, it is the grandmothers, the mothers, the sisters, and all those compassionate souls who need to stand tall and let our tears be shown and wear our hearts on our sleeves. Because being sensitive and compassionate is not a crime. They, instead, might be the attributes that could heal us.

Not every situation we face can be remedied easily or by any one leader, but many times can be solved by our collective spirit. If we unite and prioritize killing a virus, our economy will flourish, our differences will wane, and our kindness will temper the meanness. Isn’t that what we all want?

When Pearl Harbor was bombed, the spirit of America became united overnight. We forgot the petty differences and political fights and marched to war. Women helped build airplanes during the days and cradled babies at night while their husbands battled on foreign shores. Most of our citizens were sensitive to the needs of each other.

Well, we can do that again. We must band together to defeat COVID, pray for the scientists to find cures, plus follow medical advice and instructions no matter what. It is not fun, it is not easy, and it will take a bit of time, but did it not take sacrifice for us to win World War II?  Even though I got a bit tougher, a bit sassier, nothing cured my sensitivity. However, I decided to take my little cross I bear and remind others that inspiring our hearts will create a kinder, healthier world. We will not find any peace in our divisiveness, nor our flippant harsh words or hateful actions.

I believe that was proven years ago when the sensitive, considerate, compassionate son of God walked the earth to heal our souls and save us all.