Bitter or better?
As a young adult, I remember being saddened, even hurt, by someone's bitterness and began asking "What makes some people bitter and some people better?"
It became apparent that it was not the circumstances -- poverty or wealth, sickness or health, education or illiteracy, squalor or luxury. There are people who appear to "have it all" who are still bitter. And, there are people who, from the world's standards, have nothing, but are gracious, kind -- better in spite of their suffering.
In these trying times, people seem to be struggling with anger and bitterness as they're faced with the government and business demands about masks and social distancing. Sadly, some people seem to be taking their frustrations out on other people who are actually in the same situation they are -- we are just ordinary citizens being told to wear masks, or now, that we don't have to when some have become reliant on them.
Unresolved anger hardens into bitterness. There are many situations about which we become angry that we can not resolve and are therefore harming ourselves to continue in that anger.
Whether you wear a mask or not, be gracious and kind to others, even those of a different persuasion. Most people are just trying to make a living, provide for themselves and their families.
"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." Ephesians 4:32-33 ESV
When you recognize your own fallibility, you're more likely to be gracious and forgiving towards others.
Editor's note: Annette Beard, managing editor of The Pea Ridge TIMES, chosen the best small weekly newspaper in Arkansas for five years, is a native of Louisiana and moved to northwest Arkansas in 1980 to work for the Benton County Daily Record. The opinions expressed are those of the author. She can be reached at [email protected]