So you are standing in the massive line at Tescos, ready to check out, watching the clock to make sure you catch the bus on time, and your toddler starts to whine a little. Maybe it gets a bit louder…and it becomes more than a whine…it turns into a full on cry. You try to comfort, give in to temptation and try to bribe them…nothing is working. You are exhausted in a hurry and have your hands full. You just take a deep breath and try to make it through to the checkout. The man behind you starts sneering. He sneers some more and then it turns into criticism of your parenting. He is grumpy, old, up tight and he has nothing better to do than to be angry at you for something you really can’t control. Seriously…did he ever have kids? Doesn’t he have anything more important to fret about?
Does any of the above scenario sound familiar?
In moments like this I find it easy for my anger to start building… especially in the heat of the moment when the man is getting grumpier and I start getting more annoyed. However, over the past year or so I have started understanding something really important. Something that is incredibly hard and something that involves stepping outside of oneself and really trying to ‘give the benefit of the doubt’ to another.
I came across this video recently and it really spoke to me. Everyone has a story. Everyone of us has a past and everyone of us has been shaped and molded by it. We can never assume we know it in all about someone by a brief encounter…or even if we’ve known that someone for many years.
I hope this leaves you with much food for thought this Christmas season. It’s a busy time of travel, hurry and family. If you are stuck next to a grumpy gills on the plane, or are having a hard time relating to a difficult family member…. remember that everyone has a story, we just have to take the time to read it (or at least recognize it).