Have you ever had a preconceived notion blasted out of existence?
I find myself guilty of making assumptions about people and situations way too often.
And then, the reality I was so certain of gets blown out of the water. Usually, it’s me being small and covetous. Being judgmental is just me wishing the crud in my life wasn’t. It’s me thinking life isn’t fair.
Most of us put on our game face, our fake smile, and do our best to look perky, energetic and do what needs doing regardless of how crappy we might feel or how heavy the world weighs on us that day.
A few people will see through our façade. But we manage to fool most of them and think our life is great.
You gotta figure everyone else does what you and I do. Everyone else has on a game face for the world to see. At home, the reality could be filled with tears, anger, and worry, much sadder and more desperate than we could even imagine.
That perfect little family down the street might be struggling with someone dying of cancer. The co-worker who seems to have it all together may be losing everything he’s ever worked for. The adorable Barbie-figured woman who jogs past your house every morning may be on her last gasp before running away from it all. The quiet, unassuming kid behind the counter who’s always polite to everyone, might have plans later that end it all.
Ah. You never know. Until it’s too late. Even then, you may not know.
The cards we get dealt in life are ours to play however we choose. We can let everyone see what hand we have.
We can hold ’em close to our chest and not divulge a thing. We can have a poker face that discloses nothing.We can bluff our way through and have everyone fooled. Only we know what we’re playing with.
Why I’m using a card metaphor, I’m not sure. I think it’s a big cliché’. And, I’m a lousy poker player. And, I only play for chips, for fun, for the laughter. Hopefully, I play out my life better than I play cards, or write.
I’m reminded today that I can’t guess at what anyone else has in their hands, in their hearts, behind their door. I can only wish them the best, help when I can and be kind to strangers.
What’s that quote? It’s attributed to a few different people. But whoever said it, said it well and was wise.
“Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
I, for one, am going to try to be a little less judgmental, a little kinder, a bit more gentle. I want to give others credit for thinking through their circumstances and doing the best they can with what they have.
Maybe you’re the one fighting the hard battle. If so, you can be kind to yourself. Give yourself some slack, do a little something that feeds your heart and mind and soul.
If you’re one of those fighting a hard battle today, know that you are not the only one doing so. I don’t know if that helps or hurts. I do know that I wish you strength, energy, hope, happiness, coping ability, love, recognition of small joys, and the perseverance to keep moving forward.
Don’t give up.
It will get better.
You are not alone.