Picture yourself standing in a large room filled with 1000 other people, and anyone who has ever lost their job is asked to sit down. Now anyone who has had a divorce or bad breakup, if they would please sit down as well. Maybe you have a sick child that kept you up all night, or worse, a seriously sick child with no cure? You can sit down too. Anyone with an elderly parent or grandparent whose health is failing can also sit down. If you yourself are sick or are having medical issues, sit down too. Of course if you have been diagnosed with a chronic or terminal illness go ahead and take your chair. Perhaps you live with chronic pain? Sit. Custody battle? Please take a load off. Bankruptcy? Here’s your seat. Have you ever lost a good friend far too young? Maybe a family member has passed before their time? You guessed it – sit. Now, look around the room and tell me how many people are still standing. I am betting ZERO. Including you.
Think about this the next time you find yourself upset with someone who is being rude, or who messed up your order in drivethru, or simply cut you off in traffic: Everybody has a history and if you have only one brief, fleeting encounter with that person you have no way of knowing what’s happened in their life to get them to that moment. I have seen the sweetest, most caring people in the world find themselves in a low place from time to time and I guarantee that if you only met them at that point in their life you may not realize how special that person really is. They say you should walk a mile in someone else shoes, but you really don’t need to – just remember that EVERYONE has some pretty heavy shoes to wear once in a while.
Please share if you think we could use a little more empathy in this world. 😊