A friend of mine posted this on Facebook this morning. Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind.
Wow, this is so true. When you open your eyes to the fact that everyone is fighting some type of battle, it lends to a more compassionate and gracious heart. At least for me, anyway. But sometimes I need reminding of that.
Sometimes I get more irritated than I should about things. Working in the "world" I see a lot of worldly things. People slandering others... throwing other people under the bus for their own personal gain. Cutting corners. Not taking responsibility for their actions. Treating others as if they were expendable. Even thinking about it makes my blood pressure rise. It's not that we have to just tolerate it like it's no big deal. I don't think we need to be a doormat either. There is a time and place for assertiveness without aggression. Speaking the truth in love. However, before reacting to the actions of others, maybe it's a good idea to stop and think about the deeper issues that lie beneath the outward actions.
Sometimes people act the way they do to try and protect themselves from harm. Maybe that person who is always a hot head is that way because he is afraid of being hurt because of past experiences. That kid that bullies others at school may be experiencing physical or emotional abuse at home. What if that person driving 5 miles under the speed limit in front of you during rush hour traffic in the morning just received news that a loved one is dying. Yet we sit behind them laying on the horn or worse, making crude gestures or comments about them in the privacy of our own vehicles as we speed by in the other lane.
Or there are people like me. I have always been one to "smile through the pain." Smile as if nothing is wrong. This morning I had a panic attack at work for no apparent reason. I wasn't stressed. I was pretty much caught up on my work which hasn't happened in a long time. I had a great time with the kids last night at their school event. I had even passed that annoyingly difficult level in Candy Crush the night before. Yet I sat there and started to feel like I was dying. However, when people passed my desk, I smiled and made the usual chit chat and joked around with them like any other day. When I went home early, I felt like I must look like I'm faking sick. (After a long nap this afternoon, I'm feeling better by the way).
The point is, you never know what another person is secretly dealing with beneath the surface. So just be kind. Do nice things for other people. Maybe send a card to a friend just to let them know you're thinking of them. Buy a cup of coffee for the person in line behind you at Starbucks. Let someone know that you appreciate them. Give someone the grace that they don't deserve. You have no idea how far a simple gesture can go in making someone's day.
Just be kind.