“Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” – Plato
How many people will we meet today? How much do we really know about them? Seriously, even the ones we meet a lot through work or other frequent encounters.
In reality we often know very little about the people we meet (or simply cross paths with during all our activities in a day), even those we meet frequently.
When we get to the cashiers line waiting and the cashier is grumpy and a bit impolite, we often get frustrated and impatient. But….. have we stopped to consider that he/she might have a very sick family member at home and the last place they feel like being is here serving us.
Another parent I meet very regularly has spoken of her frustration in the waiting room of the emergency department of the hospital, she sees parents with children who in her opinion have minor ailments that could be readily treated by a local general practioner rather than a hospital emergency room.
We have discussed this, and discussed the fact that in comparison to her problems with her severely disabled child it they may appear to have a minor issue, but for those parents it may be the most severe illness that their child has had and so for them it is a difficult time that they may not know how to handle.
We need to remember that EVERYONE has a story (even if they don’t share it, or you may never get to hear it or know of it), and at anytime the person that you are dealing with may have a personal, work, family problem that is consuming most of their energy.
So Plato’s words are a reminder to meet everyone with compassion, because we do not know what battles they may be fighting.
Will you treat everyone you meet with compassion?
Creative Commons image in this post by Adam Arthur