Small Step #2 – Someone is ALWAYS Going Through Something

Saturday, April 16, 2011 5:29
Posted in category Small Steps

kindnessI know that each of us gets wrapped up in our own lives from time to time. And, at times, we forget that we are not the center of the universe. I know I am sometimes guilty of forgetting that I am not the be-all-and-end-all of human existence. Sure, I’m chuckling a little as I write this, but we are all guilty of being self-centered from time to time.

I have one friend in particular who seems to suffer from the “It’s All About Me” Syndrome. This friend seems almost always to be agitated by someone or something.

If someone cuts her off on the highway, he’s an asshole, and she’ll give him the evil stare down for the next two miles. If someone walks out of the bank with an unpleasant look on her face, my friend will immediately say, “What the heck is her problem?”

Invariably, I’ve looked at my friend and thought, “What is your problem?” I’ve never encountered someone so easily offended, so often, and for seemingly little or no good reason.

To this friend I have often said, “I’m sure it has very little, if anything, to do with you.” She always responds with the same shrug of her shoulders as if to tell me I’m wrong. What I can’t seem to understand is why on Earth does she think she’s so important that she must be the cause of strangers’ irritation, rage, anger, hurt, sadness, etc.?

I mean, sure – we’ve all dealt with jerks. They’re everywhere. But maybe we should stop to think what that person may be going through that makes them behave that way.

Maybe the guy that cut her off on the highway is completely distracted because his wife just called to let him know their child was rushed to the hospital. Maybe the lady leaving the bank just went to withdraw some money and found out her husband had withdrawn their entire life savings without telling her.

My point is that everyone is ALWAYS going through SOMETHING. Sometimes it’s obvious that someone is going through a rough patch. And sometimes it’s not obvious at all – some folks are highly skilled at hiding their problems no matter how bad their situation gets.

I wish the world were a different place sometimes. I wish we were kinder and gentler to one another. As a parent, I know I am finding it difficult to raise children with a sense of empathy when everywhere they turn they see so little of it.

Yes, you may be having a bad day. But that lady you just dealt with at customer service may have just lost her mother. Or maybe she just found out her home is being foreclosed. Or maybe she just learned she’s got stage four brain cancer.

The point is you just don’t know what people are going through – so give them all a break. Just assume when someone’s being an asshole that they’re having a terrible, terrible day. Please don’t add to their bad day by being sarcastic, rolling your eyes, or being rude in return.

We need to remember that not everybody’s life is going to run on our time. Our agenda isn’t the only agenda, and patience is a virtue. Be kind and respectful to everyone. We all deserve it. Especially you!

With that said, I will leave you with this thought that was sent to me in an email nearly three years ago, and I read it from time to time. I have no idea who wrote it; but I like it, so I thought I’d share it with you…

As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn’t supposed to ever let you down probably will.

You will have your heart broken probably more than once, and it’s harder every time.

You’ll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken.

You’ll fight with your best friend.

You’ll blame a new love for things an old one did.

You’ll cry because time is passing too fast, and you’ll eventually lose someone you love.

So take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you’ve never been hurt.

Every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute of happiness you’ll never get back.

Don’t be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin.

Live simply. Love generously.

Care deeply. Speak kindly.

Leave the rest to God.

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