We often pass people in life and later find out about their survival through many difficulties. Some choose to live life humbly with purpose, many struggle to overcome unique circumstances; some find the good and others find the bad in life. Whether a stranger or a friend, there’s a soul beneath the features. Did they choose their path in life, or are they just surviving each day as it comes?
As the tea kettle whistles and birds begin their morning chirp, a new chapter unfolds in our life’s story. Each good or bad circumstance, and the people we encounter will inevitably leave a mark in today’s chapter. Whether the mark is a moment of encouragement or a step in a new direction, it’s often difficult to filter the bad from invading our personal story. However, we can make an intentional decision to not be the bad in another’s life. Therefore, kindly and consciously proceed about this day knowing that your mark in someone’s life could hang on for several chapters or even the entirety of their book.
Past experiences have cultivated the thoughts behind our expressions and the impassioned emotions behind our feelings. We may not know a person’s name, nor their story, but there are many invisible chapters of life. Each person is uniquely designed and packaged with an ever-changing life story. How a scar got below one’s eye could be an act of heroism, an accident, a surgery, or abuse. Is one’s reaction brightened or saddened at the sight of a balloon breezing through the sky? Whether the balloon provokes fond memories or fear, each person has their own story. Whether the stories in the lives of others are simple, hard, or heartbreaking, it’s a reminder that each story is unique. It’s a reminder to always question what chapter of their story remains untold. What is missing from the obvious as we cross a person’s path in life? Did they try to do their best when the unforeseen happened? Are we too quick to judge? Learning how to explore the story behind the face is essential. Because your judgment doesn’t define who a person is, it labels you.
There are many very tough chapters in life, but let’s imagine a simple story. You hop onto a city transportation service to head home after your car broke down. The doors close with standing room only. You notice a gentleman begging the bus driver to reopen the door, so he won’t be late for his night shift. The bus driver acknowledges the man by reopening the door and you feel like a smashed peanut butter sandwich. You decide to do the complete opposite of what you are feeling, and you chuckle about the unfortunate occasion as you scoot over as best as you can. In that moment, the frantic gentleman kindly smiles with gratitude, explaining how your simple chuckle brought great relief over his terribly rainy day. The tiny gesture of kindness answered his begging prayer to show that someone cares. There are many true stories that declare the importance of friendly gestures in the midst of chaos. Caring, providing, helping, showing sincere gratitude for one’s efforts, anonymously paying for the person’s meal behind you in a drive-through, thanking a soldier for their bravery, or simply smiling when you least feel like it are only a few examples. Maybe you don’t feel like anyone cares, but you might be surprised at who might be watching.
Each person has their own story, settings, tribulations, heroines, and so forth. Therefore, respectfully think before you judge. Nobody’s pages are clean. Every individual has ink that stains.