I'll be the first to admit that I often am quick to judge. It's something that I am totally working on. It helps to slow down and realize that we are all just human. A bad day can throw us out of whack and make us snap at a store clerk, be rude to a neighbor, yell at our child, or be mean to our spouse. It happens.
I was reminded yesterday of how everyone is dealing with something. While waiting in x-ray with Jacob (which, by the way, his tests were the same as last year...and no change is good in these cases!), a man walked to the counter and said he was there for his full body scan, as he was finished with his CAT scan. My mind went straight to cancer, as I am familiar with the steps of the scans having had many family members go through the same process. The man sat down and grabbed a magazine to read while he waited, so I studied him for a bit. He was alone. He had no wedding ring so I can't say if he is married or not. He didn't seem too nervous, until I noticed his twitching foot.From the outside he seemed to have it all together. Had I not heard him mention what he was there for I would have assumed it was a basic routine x-ray of some sort. And yet, assuming that he was there for tests to locate cancer or see what has spread or what was going on in his body, I can only imagine the turmoil that he was facing within himself. His own personal battle.
We humans are good at hiding emotions. Our emotions will often come out in other ways. Snappy comments, rude remarks, wrongful actions. And that is why I am making a considerable effort to remember to be kind, for everyone is facing their own battle. It's not personal.
I've had days that couldn't seem to get any worse. Whatever could go wrong, did go wrong. The slightest thing could either send me over the edge or light up my world. It's truly amazing that the slightest effort on someone else's part can either make or break a person. A kind word, a warm smile, or a compliment can get one out of a foul mood. Or a run in with a rude, condescending, hateful person can make your day just that much worse.
The question I keep asking myself is 'Do I want to be that kind word and warm smile, or the rude, condescending, hateful person?' After all, everyone is facing their own battle. A life is only worth living if you can make a difference in those lives around you. And the next time that store clerk is rude, remind yourself that maybe her car wouldn't start that morning, she could have been up with a teething baby all night, her husband could have just left her, a parent or loved one could have just died. Give someone a genuine smile, hope that it is contagious, and know that your kindness may have blessed someone else, instead of hindered them.