Life has a funny way of going on around us. So many times we spend our days getting bent out of shape in this “hurry up, get it done, don’t slow me down” world of ours.
We blow by possibly hundreds of people a day and never once stop long enough to know a single thing about them. We get mad because we have to wait an extra 60 seconds in line at the store, because the clerk isn’t going fast enough, or the person paying can’t find their checkbook. We get angry at those who cut us off in traffic, cut us off in line, and we never stop once to think about why they did it, or, for that matter, why they thought is was okay. We don’t know a thing about them. Traffic bites, someone next to you in the elevator smells funny, the waitress messed up your order, the rude guy on the corner, the woman with the noisy kids. I could go on and on.
Now, certainly we cannot stop and ask every person in our passing world what is going on, how they are doing, and how can you help, but what we all can do is STOP. We can stop getting so mad in line. We can stop getting so disgruntled at the restaurant when our order is wrong, or when the waitress doesn’t meet our standards. We can stop yelling at the guy who broke down on the side of the road and jammed up traffic. We can stop thinking the mother is useless for not keeping her kids under control.
What we can do is UNDERSTAND. We can try and be more understanding that maybe, just maybe, we don’t know what is going on in that persons life at the moment. Maybe the mother with kids was left by her husband recently. Maybe the woman sitting by herself in the coffee shop doesn’t have a single friend. Maybe the smelly guy in the elevator just got evicted from his home and has been sleeping in his car for the past three days. Maybe the guy sleeping on the park bench isn’t all you’ve sized him up to be…
Lastly, if you can begin to be understanding, then, and only then, might you be able to be productive about it; not to mention, save yourself a lot of trouble and anger and wasteful energy getting mad about it. Each and every situation will present itself differently, and certainly we cannot save the world on our own. But if we can begin to understand, then maybe we can begin to help where God would have us help. Maybe the guy that jammed up traffic needs a ride and you can take an extra 20 minutes out of your busy ride home in “rush hour” and give him a lift. Maybe the woman with the unruly kids would be incredibly encouraged if you just helped her carry her bags of groceries to the car. Maybe the guy in the elevator just needs someone to chat with that at least understands, and has some empathy. Maybe that guy sleeping on the park bench you wanted to sit at just needs someone to look at him and smile, and feel like someone cares.
I’m not saying your actions are always going to fix the problems going on around you, but I can assure you, your negative actions, or ‘reactions’, don’t help matters to you or anyone else. Maybe a simple hug or a simple smile, or a short conversation, or kind gesture just makes that persons day, and that’s all they really need to get through the day. Things aren’t always what they seem.
Food for thought…
Take 4 minutes and watch this video. It sums up all that I’m trying to say: