Friday, January 26, 2018

Compassion for the unknown

I am working on a change in my life.. my perspective... my attitude. With all the technology in our daily lives and all the screen time we each have, it's easy to forget that a human being is on the other side. Whether you are reading this blog post, chatting with a company's customer service, or emailing about who knows what... at some point... another human is there on the other end. Maybe you got the automated service with the robot voice walking you through troubleshooting, but a human had to set up that system... design it, program it, and install it.

We each face struggles in our lives. I know this about myself... I don't allow too many people close enough to me to know all the struggles I have faced. I'm not the type of person that will sit down and pour out my heart and soul to another. You have to be very important for me to truly open up. Undiagnosed, but most likely I have trust issues... I don't have a huge "thing" that happened in my childhood to cause it. I like to tell people I see the world as a realist without the mirage of perfection. My husband says I'm a conspiracy theorist and on some days he is correct.

This bring us to... the change... my new outlook on life. Just as I don't open up to others and dump a sob story, I remind myself I'm not the only one like that.. and shame on anyone who thinks they have to know the story in order to show compassion. You don't know what the other person is facing. It's imperative to have compassion for the unknown. Maybe Customer Service at your favorite store is lacking today because the employee was just dumped by who they thought they were spending the rest of their life with... or maybe their dog died... or maybe their Dad was diagnosed with cancer. Maybe they just really hate their job, the coffee was cold, and someone cut them off on their commute.

Why is it that we can give more patience and tolerance to those that we know are struggling while those who don't want to air the dirty laundry with random strangers are given less consideration and compassion?

If you find yourself struggling to get through another conversation about the same issue, take a breath and tell yourself you may be working with someone on their worst day. Be polite. Be thoughtful. Make small talk. Try to inject a little humor. Show compassion for the unknown. It's none of your business, but that doesn't mean you can't be nice. Not only are you showing you have a good heart, you could turn their day around, too. Don't blame them for things they can't control.

Then, there are those people that are always hard to work with. No matter what you try, it seems you can't do right by them. I wish I had a plan for solving this issue. The only thing I can share is one of the sayings I remember from my Grandma "Kill them with kindness." "Being kind to your enemies is like reaping hot coals on their head." (Proverbs 21If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; 22For you will heap burning coals on his head, And the LORD will reward you

While I hope you and I don't have "enemies", sometimes we treat one another like we are. Keep this in mind as we travel through cookie season and beyond.

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