Everyone you meet is fighting battle you know nothing about; be kind.
No one is perfect.
If no one is perfect, then no one is exempt from pain or suffering.
If no one is exempt from pain or suffering, then no one has it easy.
And if no one has it easy, then we must all be compassionate and kind.
We are all sons or daughters of our Heavenly Father and we are all fighting battles. Every single person that has lived, is living, or will live on this earth will have to overcome hardships.
Now, think about your friends and family. Think about the people you spend your free time with. Think about the people you know everything about. Think about the people that mean the most to you. Do you know when they are having a hard day? Most of us do. And most of us go out of our way to make sure they have a good day. Most of us are extremely good about being kind to our friends and cheering them up when they are sad or need encouragement.
Now think about your acquaintances. Think about the people you see in the hall as you walk through school. Think about the people on your Twitter feed that you know of, but you don’t associate with. Think about the girl that gets on your nerves, or the boy who won’t leave you alone. Think about the people from the other neighborhood that you aren’t fond of. Think about the people on the other team you root against. Think about the people from the other church and religion that you don’t agree with. Do you know when they have a hard day? Do you know what they are going through? Most times we don’t. We know nothing about what they’re struggling with. Yet we may judge, criticize or mock these people.
We justify these actions by saying, even believing they are different than us. We tend to use ourselves and our experiences as a frame of reference for judging the behavior of others. A newspaper columnist, Sidney J. Harris, once vividly described the tendency to use yourself as the measuring stick: “I am the man in the middle; for the middle is, by my definition, where I stand. … I am a ‘friendly’ sort of person; anyone more friendly than I is ‘familiar’; anyone less friendly than I is ‘aloof.’ I am an ‘open’ person; anyone more open than I is ‘brutally frank’; anyone less open than I is ‘devious.’ … I am a ‘determined’ person; anyone more determined than I is ‘pig-headed’; anyone less determined than I is ‘indecisive.’ … I am a ‘realistic’ person; anyone more realistic than I is ‘cynical’; anyone less realistic than I is ‘naive.’ …”
We use this idea as an excuse to be short with someone, to humiliate another on social media, to ignore, to shun, and to hurt.
My friends, we have NO excuse to be rude, cruel, or vicious to each other. All of us are struggling. You do not need to be fake or counterfeit with your kindness. By all means, please be real and genuine. But being real does not mean that you have to be rude or hateful. The Dalai Lama once said, “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”
Do not underestimate the power of your hello, your smile, your listening ear, your compliment, or your small act of service. Kindness is powerful. John 15:12 says “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”