There have a few times connected with my job as a school nurse in which I’ve had the pleasure to don a costume in skits for the lower elementary. Several years in a row I was the Big Bad Wolf for the Great American Smokeout (smoking prevention), and once a friend of mine was the Grape Ape while I hid behind a homemade stage as the puppeteer, (for what I don’t exactly remember…)
And you thought school nurses just sat around putting on bandaids!!
One thing I noticed about being “incognito” is the emotional freedom to act out of character. Regardless of how hot or uncomfortable the suits were, I had so much fun, which probably makes it more enjoyable for the kids.
There is a down side to being somewhat hidden, however, almost a feeling of invincibility. Clearly, this has been consistently played out in society with the explosion of social media over the past few decades. Write and post what you want, regardless of past restraints of compassion (much less common civility), you are “hidden” within cyberspace from the human consequences of your actions.
Not so, says the writer of Proverbs. Once again, there are several places in this chapter that are largely repetitive (in case we miss it the first time):
Mockers can get a whole town agitated,
but the wise will calm anger.
Fools vent their anger,
but the wise quietly hold it back.
There is more hope for a fool
than for someone who speaks without thinking.
An angry person starts fights;
a hot-tempered person commits all kinds of sin.
Elsewhere, we are actually warned to avoid such people. In some cases, we can’t—the person sitting with us in the assigned workspace, the next-door neighbor, someone in the same household. We may be able to limit our exposure to their vitriol, but usually their venom will still need to be dealt with in some fashion.
In other situations, we certainly have more control. Social media is a hotbed for cyber-bullying, which I hasten to add is not contained to adolescence. Thankfully, there’s this wonderful control, “Unfollow”. I have used it. The television also has this marvelous button on the remote marked “OFF”.
It is largely my responsibility concerning that which I allow my mind and spirit to be exposed. It is also my responsibility how to respond, if indeed a response is warranted, when I encounter a Biblically-defined “fool”.
I just need to remember that I’m talking to a Grape Ape.
Proverbs 29:8,11,20,22 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.