Problem is, in real life those bundles of straw are invisible. I can't tell at a glance who's carrying around a handful of straws all easy-breezy like, or who's laboring under a metric tonne of them. I've always said that if I could have a superpower I would choose the ability to fly. I love the swoopy-tummy feeling of take off. I love the sensation of soaring (bugs in teeth...not so much, but every power comes with a price). But lately I'm thinking I would choose super-ultra-deep-people-vision. Meaning, the ability to see those metaphorical bundles of straw and know EXACTLY what's in them.
Because then I wouldn't catch myself making such stupid assumptions about people. I would know when to tread lightly. I would know what to say or what not to say. I would never be a straw added to someone else's burden. And best of all, I would never be someone's LAST straw ever again.
But we can't see, and we can't know. So sometimes thoughtlessly, and sometimes inevitably, we say the words or do the things that bend someone to the point of breaking. And it can be baffling, absolutely baffling, because sometimes they are such small words and such small actions, and we can't understand why the person in front of us is suddenly shouting or weeping or heart-rendingly silent.
Life can be a heavy, heavy thing. It can also be light and joyful and full of tummy-swooping moments and straw scattered to the wind. I haven't quite figured out how to have more of the latter than the former, but I think it has a lot to do with super-ultra-deep-people-vision.
But until we develop that particular superpower, it helps to remember that you don't have to see a burden to help lift it.