Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fighting the good fight

Be kinder than necessary,
for everyone that you meet is fighting some kind of battle.......

These were the words at the bottom of an e-mail I received recently. It was a mass e-mail from someone at school about an upcoming meeting – and at the end was a message as a part of the sender’s automatic signature. These were the two lines that jumped off the page at me.

While we all know that kindness and compassion are what makes the world go ‘round, it can be awfully hard to keep it front and centre all the time. I for one, can honestly say that I struggle at times to see beyond the end of my nose – and I suspect I’m not alone in this. After all, it’s pretty easy for us to get caught up in our own worlds – our own insults and injuries, our dysfunctional relationships with people, places and things. What’s a lot harder is to keep in mind that everyone we meet has their own emotional bag of tricks.

So for days I had these two lines of text in my mind, and then life provided the illustration to the story. Driving around the city on errands a few weeks ago I pulled up at a stoplight. I noticed the cute little sports car to my left. I also noticed the driver - a really attractive woman about my age. And then I noticed that she was weeping. She was in the middle of a phone call that was obviously breaking her heart – and she was sobbing with genuine grief. My heart sank. I wanted more than anything to get out of my car and see if I could help this woman. The fact that I was in busy traffic in the nation’s largest city, in addition to the fact that I’m sure the last thing this poor woman wanted was the minivan driver next door banging on her window kept me from doing so.

I’ve thought about that woman a lot of times over the past few weeks and am hoping that a little good karma has come her way. I’ve also tried to keep in mind the personal battles that others are fighting- big and small – as I go through my days. Keeping this firmly in mind will be a battle of my own, but I’ll try.

In the meantime, here’s wishing you a little kindness and a reprieve from your battles today.

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