“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”
Ever in your life felt like no one is fighting as difficult a battle as you? I have, and I’m embarrassed by my arrogance. Still, being overwhelmed is being overwhelmed, and once that wave washes over you, it’s sometimes hard to stand up.
I don’t quite agree with Plato that everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle, because everyone’s life ebbs and flows, but you don’t know what you don’t see. So being kind because everyone you meet might be fighting a harder battle seems like the more pragmatic way of thinking.
When I was a teenager, I noticed a lot of the older women in the grocery store–or wherever–seemed to be scowling. I took a bit of offense to that, because I thought they were scowling at me (like I said, I was a teenager), until one day I smiled at one of these ladies. Her smile in return had me quite taken aback and I realized, her frown had nothing to do with me. Or anyone else, for that matter.
After that, I took to smiling at ladies who didn’t look happy, and the response I got was quite gratifying. While many of them may have been quite content, at least some of them were in pain, physical or emotional, and perhaps my smile made their day a little brighter. It was kindness, and I know now that the burdens many bear at 70 are a lot worse than what I was dealing with at 17 (and I had my share of pain).
Not long ago a child in my apartment complex came running up to me. I was surprised and thought she may have mistaken me for someone else, but she grinned at me and said, “here’s a lucky penny!” and handed me said coin. That was so sweet it made my day. I hadn’t been having a particularly difficult time of it, but kindness is always appreciated. And yes, her mom was nearby, keeping her generous daughter safe from stranger danger.
Be kind. It may be a ripple in a pond that goes a long way.
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