I’ve noticed that stress or anxiety has an impact on my perspective as well as on my responses. That is human nature and we all know that, so nothing new there. The challenge is to keep that in mind about myself when I am in the middle of it, to try factor in what about my perspective and response is really about ‘me-under-stress’ even when I feel like I am being totally reasonable and objective. That takes maturity and is a whole lot harder. But it also takes maturity to be aware of and remember this when I am engaging with other people’s perspectives and behaviours – what kind of stress or anxiety are they dealing with right now that is affecting what I am hearing or seeing? Way back it used to be said that to do this was to take someone ‘with a grain of salt.’ That meant (as I grew up with it) to be gracious and allow for some space when we know there is more going on in another person’s life. I’m not sure where the idea of salt came in, but I understand what it is saying. And I understand that these days that is important in our interaction with each other. It’s not an excuse for me to say or do as I please, but it is a reminder that a loving, helpful thing to do when someone is reacting differently than we might expect, that we take a step back and simply ask: hey, how are you doing? What are these days like for you? How’s life at home, with your family, on your own? It allows us to care for each other. And with everything going on these days, that’s what we all need. Take a moment today to ask someone and simply let them know you care.