Here's the thing...everyone has a story, everyone has something they've lived through, in varying degrees, yes, but it's there. So before you judge or jump on the bandwagon, take a moment to ask yourself if you know the whole story, is there something you're missing?
When last did that persons' smile reach their eyes? Are they acting out as a defense mechanism? Is the laugh and are the jokes a cover up?
When last did you listen, actually hear, someone's story? Did you take it all in? Did you read between the lines? Can you understand how it has shaped them into the person they are today?
Sure, people lash out when their angry and it's usual on people who don't deserve it, but maybe, just maybe if you show compassion and empathy...they'll let you into their soul and show you a glimmer of their true self.
You see, we all pretend. We all walk around with our hard-ons out pretending that that's the way it always is. We hide all the characteristics we think people won't like, that they'll judge us for...like jealousy, stubbornness, greed, neediness....all our insecurities are veiled with false confidence. We mold ourselves into the reflections we think the world will accept...vapid, shallow reflections. And we slowly and painfully wilt away inside.
You wanna know what the kicker is? Everyone feels the same way. For different reasons, sure...some have histories and pasts that torment them, some have broken hearts, some are trying to recover from abuses of various natures. It doesn't really matter what we go through (to a certain degree) it just matters that we learn and grow and develop compassion. Yet we all parade our facades, believing that our hurts are the worst...that no one can match our inner turmoil and pain...we forget to connect and communicate and share.
We're sacred of showing the darkness...worried it'll chase people away...no one can accept me as a scared, broken shell. So we parade around alone. And scared. Never vulnerable. Never free.
What is your initial, most basic reaction when you hear of someone breaking down, making a scene, crying in public? I used to think showing emotion was a weakness. Being needy. Unloading on people who don't really need extra things to worry about. I thought holding it in was strength. Because cowgirls don't cry.
I've learned that letting go...breaking down...acknowledging and accepting...taking ownership...whatever you want to call it...that takes courage...it takes more courage than the strength you use to keep it all in. It's frightening and leaves you vulnerable. Because we judge.
So next time someone reacts badly or behaves oddly or breaks down...stop for a minute and consider what they may have been through.
Show respect for other peoples' experiences.
Maybe you'll learn something.
Maybe it'll help you.