Have you ever felt that yuck in your stomach… that moment where you wish you could take back your words? Take back that negative thought or judgment? Where you wish you would have thought a little longer before you acted a certain way towards someone? We all have. I am guilty, for sure. I have caught myself feeling terrible for judging someone before I really knew their story. But, then we learn and grow from the experience, and hopefully the next time we aren’t quick to be critical. We remind ourselves to choose again. Your decision to choose love might just be exactly what someone needs to turn their life around.
“You never know when you’ll be the person who ignites an awakening in someone else. That’s why it’s so important to weave kindness and love into all of your interactions. You can’t predict when you will be the catalyst for something wonderful to light up another human being – but there will be many such moments. And your love and compassion will be the exact thing someone needs to feel understood, and okay, and inspired. “ – Scott stabile
Someone cuts you off on the highway. You want to honk and get angry. What you don’t know is that someone just got a phone call that their loved one has little time left and they are rushing to get by their side. They are trying to process their emotions and furiously rushing to see them. Take a deep breathe and be grateful you aren’t rushing to the same place.
Someone is callous to you in line at the grocery store. What you don’t know is that someone is at the store buying food for their family and they’re unsure if their card will decline. They are anxious, overwhelmed, stressed, tired and embarrassed. They need to bring food home for their children but are afraid they may not be able to today. Kill them with kindness instead of being rude back.
You are in your car at a red light. Someone is taking a long time to cross the street, and the light turns green. You get angry and impatient. What you don’t know is that person is blind. Be patient and compassionate.
You’re sitting in your living room, staring out the window, enjoying the sunshine as it warms your face. You see someone walk up to your mailbox and open it. You immediately think that they are about to steal something from you. You quickly run outside and yell, “What do you think you’re doing looking in my mailbox?” The person looks at you nervously, shaken up by your enraged energy. “I’m sorry, your mail accidentally got left in my mailbox. I just stopped by to bring it to you. I thought I’d just leave it here, in your mailbox.” Someone was actually doing a kind deed. Take a moment to consider what’s happening before assuming the worst. Approach with kindness.
While waiting in line to meet Mickey Mouse in Disney World, you see someone “cut” to the front of the line. You get angry, and march over to the cast member to complain that someone skipped the line. What you didn’t know is that the family who got to go to the front of the line are in Disney World because their 6 year old son has a rare disease that has given him months to live. The Make-A-Wish Foundation made his wish to meet Mickey Mouse come true. Be grateful. You get to be in Disney World with your healthy child.
We can all be so quick to judge others’ without knowing the full story. If we take a moment to stop and listen to others and hear it from their perspective, perhaps we would have more love in the world. I’m constantly reminded of this whenever things don’t go perfectly or seem to be against me. The reality is, life could always be so much worse. It’s a lesson in perspective & humility.
This is a gentle reminder for me, you, all of us: be kind to everyone. Be patient and understanding. If everything you see is rooted in your own identity, it will be impossible to see from another’s point of view. Consider what life is like for someone whose shoes you have not walked a mile in.
“We’re all going through shit. Each one of us, in our own way. Let’s remember that when we see each other on the street in stores at work and at home. Everywhere. Let’s be good to one another and cut each other some slack.”
Amen, Scott Stabile. Amen.