Then I got a little closer and realized the man was upset because someone had beaten him to a parking spot.
A few steps away, I spied a woman talking on a cell phone—looking rather glum. Her face was a mask of distress. I stopped and contemplated the source of her sorrow and assumed it was the war in Iraq. Clearly, this woman was overcome with angst when contemplating the countless dead, the 50-60% employment rate, the 4.7 million refugees, the depleted uranium, and the fact that much of the country was still without electricity.
Then I got a little closer and overheard her phone conversation. I realized the woman was upset because she thought her jeans made her look fat.
Then I got a little closer and she looked at me sheepishly. I realized the woman was upset because she had forgotten to charge her iPod.
I was almost home when I saw a man who appeared to be overwhelmed with melancholy. I stopped and contemplated the source of his despondency and assumed it was, well, everything. Clearly, this man was overcome with depression when contemplating global poverty, mass animal and plant extinctions, widespread slavery, gender inequality, and the fact that somewhere on planet Earth a human being starves to death every two seconds.
As Gandhi sez: “Action expresses priorities.”
Mickey Z. is the author of two new books, CPR for Dummies and No Innocent Bystanders, and can be found on the Web here