I hate crowds. They make me anxious and grouchy.
Yesterday J and I went into the city to see an amazing light display. But I’d forgotten that it wasn’t Sunday–night–before–a–work–day, but Sunday–night–before–a–public–holiday. So there were people everywhere doing the same thing we were. It was madness. There were so many people in the city for this event that we weren’t allowed to get off the train at the closest stop but had to get off earlier and walk. They even closed down a major road in the city for the pedestrians to use.
At one point I was bumped (and this is when I get grouchy), and it reminded me of a similar reaction I’d had before. I was reminded because I’ve been thinking of doing a flashback series on reflections I’ve written in the past. I recently went back to a journal that I used to keep and I read an entry about this exact thing.
So here it is, written by my 17 year old self (and edited for length by my current self):
Someone was mucking around in the clustered, confined spaces of the Year Twelve corridor and they caused a small domino effect; only bumping, no one fell over. I heard my friend behind me offer an apology to someone but I didn’t say anything. I was in a bad mood and it wasn’t my fault if I had bumped into someone because a few people were acting stupidly. They were the ones who should apologise.
But does that really justify my thoughts and response? Most people have bad moods sometimes but I don’t think that means we’re entitled to act grumpy and rude. So how should we express to others that we are upset without becoming completely self-centred or upsetting others in the process?
When I’m grumpy I often want other people to know it, I do become self-absorbed. But what would be the right way to act when I’m grumpy? Perhaps being grumpy at all is completely un-godly. To not act in a grumpy way practically defeats the purpose of being grumpy. Perhaps by consciously deciding not to act on your grumpy feelings helps you to stop feeling grumpy. Indulging in a bad mood may just serve to make us feel worse, even if we think we’ll feel better by expressing it. Instead, we should cultivate the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
There it is. What do you think of my 17-year-old wisdom? I think that’s something I needed to hear yesterday when I got grumpy from being bumped in a crowd.
And just for fun, here are some pictures of my favourite building in the light show.