is that you don’t know the whole story.
What do you think of that woman in your office who is so cruel and cold? She’s always saying horrible things about other people. What about that boy you were in third grade with, the one who smelled so bad no one wanted to be near him? And remember that girl in eighth grade who no one could stand because she was always showing off? She would do anything to get attention.
Then there was that boy with the nose that he hadn’t grown into yet. You remember, the nerd who played the violin. He was so shy and awkward he couldn’t talk to anyone, let alone a girl. What a weirdo.
We all do it. We like people who are similar to us. It’s easy to avoid those whose behavior or demeanor is suspect because it’s different or makes us uncomfortable. It’s also easier to go along when our friends make fun of someone as a way of shutting them out.
It’s easy to be kind and love someone who looks more like you than not. It’s easy to work alongside someone who understands the social rules. The rules you have learned and live under. But what if there are others who don’t understand those rules. What if the rules governing their lives were different. Or what if those rules just don’t fit them. Does that make them misfits? OR does it only mean they have a different place in the body human.
The problem is when we’re unkind to others, we are being unkind to ourselves. They are part of the body of humanity. And it’s time to see everyone through new eyes.
If we soften our stance and are kind and even tempered in our dealing with others we might have a chance to learn something. We might learn the rest of the story. Their story. And we need to know their story because ultimately, it’s OUR story. The human story.
The woman in your office? Every day growing up her father let her know that she was not his child, but the product of her mother’s unfaithfulness to him. She was a thing to him. An it. And her mother told her every day what a worthless person she was. How her mother wished that this daughter had never been born.
It tore at her heart to live with parents who were unable to extend even the kindness that they would to a stranger. SO now she makes her heart hard and cuts herself off from others as a way of self protection.
And do you remember that boy in third grade that smelled like something rotten. It was a horrible, gagging smell. The smell of pure filth.
His parents were both alcoholics. He lived in conditions that we wouldn’t allow our dogs to live under. There was no running water in the house. There was no plumbing. He had to relieve himself whenever he found facilities away from home or out away from the house. At school it was okay. He could use a real bathroom then. He did bathe once a week at his aunt’s house because she was only five miles away. But that wasn’t enough to keep away the creeping smell of poverty and slow death that hung in the air around him. Do you remember that when he was in sixth grade, he jumped to his death from the railroad bridge?
And the girl who tried too hard? Did you know that her uncle molested her from the time she was four until she was was twelve and old enough to tell on him. The problem then was, that when she did tell her mother, her mother slapped her for making such a vile accusation. Her mother did not believe her. And her mother? As a child, her mother was molested and raped almost daily by her stepfather. And what about her grandmother?
And the boy who played the violin? He was different. And one day someone played a terrible joke on him. But the joke wasn’t funny and the young man jumped from the George Washington Bridge… and he died. That young man had parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents who loved him.
He is missed.
And the whole of humanity is less without the contribution of these bright, shining stars. All of them. Whether they actually die or their spirit is shut down in some other way, who knows what their contribution to the whole would have been if they had been held in love by their communities. If they had been able… to not only survive, but thrive and grow to their fullest potential.
There’s danger in making judgements about others. You don’t know the whole story. And all of us have stories. And they are more alike than they are different for We Are One.
Practice kindness in all your dealings with others. Practice being kind to yourself. And always… always… be as kind as you can.