BE KIND

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”

Plato, Greek author & philosopher in Athens (427 BC – 347 BC)

 Earlier this week I was catching up with my Facebook buddies and one post was a variation of the quote above.  I decided to Google the quote to find out who coined the phrase and was amazed that it was Plato.  It seemed like such a modern ditty. 

My little mind started ticking as soon as I read it.  You know how people say that you wear your heart on your sleeve?  What if we really did?  Not as a martyr thing but for information purposes.  Would we be more forgiving if we knew what was really going on with the people we meet daily?  What if we had a note on our sleeves, a big heart that said what was really happening?  Would we treat each other different if we knew that …  

The snotty cashier that can’t force a smile?   Her husband is in the hospital…

The customer that is SO rude?  Overslept, running late, car needs gas, long line, stress…

The person on the other end of the phone that will not give us what we want?  My child is ill and I am scared…

The driver going 35 in a 50 oblivious to the rest of the traffic?  I just lost my job…

My own family member going through their same issue for the 100th time?  Money problems…

That annoying overly happy woman that is so full of sunshine before I even have my coffee?  I’m losing my house…

Your co-worker that is so angry, all the time?   Divorce …

In so many ways, life has taught me not to air my dirty laundry.  People don’t really want to know anyway, right?  But, I do think there is a difference between talking about your problems and issues and being a victim.  I am a person that used to hold everything inside and that practice made me very sick, and very mean.  Is that what other people do too?  I have learned that I can share what is going on with a trusted friend.  I can also share my life with others when it might help them to get through their own issues.  For me, that is the beginning of compassion, being able to relate to another human being on a personal level.  It doesn’t mean fix them, it just means listening and sharing experience, strength and hope.

We all have issues, some more intense than others, but issues just the same.  Our world has allowed us to think that our problems are the only ones that matter.  Truth be known, most of us would rather keep the problems we have than trade with someone else.  I know I would.  But that doesn’t mean mine are more important. 

And what about sharing good news?  What is wrong with tooting your own horn a bit?  I really enjoy hearing good things that happen to my family, friends and even acquaintances!  It gives hope to others when we are stuck in the mud.  About a year ago a person I actually know won a new car in a contest.  I was pretty excited for her, who does that happen to?  Not me!  Another friend I know is in the running to be on a reality TV show, she put forth the effort and it is paying off.  And another girl I know IS going to be on a Reality show airing in June.  It doesn’t matter whether that is my goal or not, it matters that something good happened to them.  Share the joy, the new job, the grandbaby on the way, your new car!  I want to hear it! 

Life isn’t dull, let it out.  I don’t want to poo-poo other’s accomplishments; I want to celebrate with them.  And I want to learn what they have that I don’t so I can apply these techniques to my own hopes and dreams.  My life is a wonderful journey.  I enjoy all the people I meet along the road.   I want to share the tears and disappointments along with the joy and laughter.  I believe that is what it is all about.