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Thursday, May 17, 2012

.other shoes.

After experiencing a few days of horrible, no good, awful (physical) pain, I've come to a conclusion.  I've actually come to this conclusion before.  More than once.  Like whenever I reflect on difficult times in my life.  Or when someone else's trials become known to me.  Or when I hear Otis Redding suggesting that a little tenderness just might be the antidote.

What conclusion do I come to, you ask?  I think it can all be wrapped up in one word.  Actually, there are a few words.  But the one that keeps coming to my mind recently is compassion. 

Compassion.  I think it should be my year word.  Ya' know, the one I want to focus on for the year. 

So I'm a little late.  I'm sure you're already aware of what a procrastinator I am.

I guess grace would be a good word too, now that I think about it. 

My main point I guess is that age-old saying about walking a mile in someone elses' shoes.  You don't know by looking at someone what they're going through.  True, there are those who wear their emotions on their sleeves, and love to let you know just how miserable their life is.  But think of all those you pass each day.  Those people you work with.  The cashiers you come in contact with.  Fellow shoppers, drivers, restaurant-goers or even family members.  So many carry silent pain, whether physical, emotional, whatever. 

So instead of honking at that driver who didn't go right away when the light turned green, maybe take the time to realize that she couldn't see the light turn through her tears.  Instead of being frustrated that your neighbor still hasn't mowed his lawn, consider doing it for him.  Instead of swearing at that person who just cut you off, think about the fact that she could be rushing to the hospital to be at the bedside of someone she loves.  When that older person takes forever counting out change for the cashier at WalMart, take the time to consider that the conversation taking place could be the only one that older person will have all day.

I know there are jerks out there.  People who drive crazy just because.  Annoying folks who just talk your ear off.  But what does it hurt you to just have a little compassion?  What does it cost you?  Nothing.  And someday, somewhere, someone will offer you that compassion.  Thinking about others before yourself is kind of the way life is supposed to work.  So give a little grace to those around you, and always remind yourself that you don't know what burdens another person may be carrying.  Your compassion could be the only thing they need to make it through the day.


Allie Quivey said...

Love this. Made me think about a lot! :)

Anonymous said...

So deep and very eye opening