“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” – Wendy Mass
Doesn’t it feel like we’re all in a fight of some sort – with something? Except no one knows who started it, what we’re fighting about, or how it will finally end. It just keeps going – with no end in sight.
I get it – a lot of us have been fighting our way through life. We walk up to a new person and immediately going into fight mode – in new romances, new work relations, new projects, and new friendships. We are used to fighting, so we put our fists up to protect ourselves from whatever is about to hit us.
We look at the other person and assume they will hurt us. We already know they will find something wrong with us – or worse, judge us. Except that when we do that, we’re actually judging them.
As Jerry Belson said, “Never ASSUME, because when you ASSUME, you make an ASS of U and ME.”
Every one of us has been through tough times – whether our whole lives or some portion of it. And we meet someone who looks like they have it all together – whether from their money, relationship, looks, privilege, family, or status – but we don’t know their story. We don’t know their background. We know nothing other than the bias we have when we see them – before a word is uttered.
I wonder what would happen if we stopped and asked questions before assuming. If we believed the best in other people before we picked a fight. If we gave the benefit of the doubt before putting our bias on them. Or – ultimately – stopped judging the highlight reel of those who might just have the worst behind-the-scenes out there.
But CAN we put our fists down – and our angry words away – or even put words to our silence – and ask questions first? We all want to be seen – and the best way to do that is to be open. Which also makes us vulnerable to potential hurt.
Which also makes us vulnerable to being loved better than we’ve ever been loved.
I’ll do it first. I love you. I’m here. I have questions. And I’m sorry you’ve been hurt. I’ll hug you – and stand with you as you fight your battle. Don’t feel like you’re alone – and please know that I’m not here to fight against you – only with you.