Someone sent me the link to a blog post that contains a simple message, but one we need to be reminded of.
We often judge another based only on what we observe at first glance – how another behaves or what they say in the present situation. Someone is abrupt with us. Someone behaves insensitively. Someone is irritable. Our tendency is to judge (How rude! What a miserable person! etc), to not even wonder what might have caused that behavior. As the blog writer observes
Time and time again I am discovering that if we wait long enough – underneath appearances – there is a story. There is almost always a story. So many times I have judged another’s behavior, reacting from my assumptions, sometimes even feeling a need to point out the error of their ways and then saying things I have later regretted. Yet when I think about the times when I have behaved badly, often when I am exhausted or worried or just being neurotic about something – how grateful I am when someone has the kindness and insight to just step back, be patient, and give me some slack. Meeting negativity with kindness, even if we don’t know the underlying story but just assuming there probably is one…helps everyone. It certainly has the power to melt through my mindless moments every time, and if works for me it probably works for others.
The author relates a couple of specific instances in her post, which is well worth reading in its entirety. But the point is a simple one: Let’s give each other some slack, withholding judgment based on the limited evidence we have. Meet whatever we are presented with love and compassion, assuming that even if we don’t know is, there is a story there.
And our love and compassion might be just what the other person needs.