Remember this game? When I started writing this blog entry I remembered having this game. The game itself is pretty simple. Each player takes a straw and places it in the basket on the camel's back. The one who puts in the last straw that breaks the camel's back is the loser.
What is your last straw? When do you know when you've reached your limit? As kids we knew when my Dad was at his limit of parental patience. He would just stand at the top of the stairs and pat his head with both hands. He'd shake his head while doing the patting...maybe as if he was shaking off the last fragment of patience before blowing his top? This was not a good sign. In all accounts, this meant the Junod kids had pushed Dad beyond the limit. Surprisingly, there was never any yelling involved with the head patting. In the silence of Dad's maniacal head patting we would all look at each other with distress. It didn't matter who might have started the incident, we all were in it from there out. It usually moved us into action, the very action that was probably requested of us in the first place.
I've referred to how my "last straw" looks. I hold onto stuff inside until I spew like a summer time water toy. My "tell" is when I tug down hard on my face with my hands. With my fingers bearing down on my cheek bones I tug down on my bottom eyelids. There's usually some groaning happening...my eyes wide with fury. This is where Nice Amy splinters into her other self and she begins talking in latin. Oh, no...it's not that bad. Although I have no idea the words I say, they must be motivating.
Have you ever encountered someone who's response to a situation is totally blown out of proportion and inappropriate to the problem? The truth is that it's probably not that one situation that has made the person irate. It's probably the fact that so many "straws" were put in the bucket that the person was carrying. That one tiny incident was the final straw.
You never know what kind of heavy load someone is carrying. In a world where we seldom take the time to really listen to what's going on in a person's life it's hard to tell. Sometimes people have carried the load so long that it just looks like the ordinary burden. The person has shifted the weight around so that you can't see the weight of it all. It's there though...ready to break free from under the pressure. Just one straw is all it takes.
My wish is that you have a light load of straws to carry today. If you see someone who's struggling with too many straws, offer to take on a few of them. If we all distribute the weight it's an easier load to carry.