I wrote this a few years ago but feel it’s still pertinent and it warranted a repost.
Life in our society is built on trust. Trust that justice will prevail, that while bad things happen to good people, it will all even out in the end and those good people will be better for the things that have shaped them.
But we also trust people to tell the truth. We trust that the information we are getting from news sources is real, and credible, and not based on someone’s opinion or attempt at higher ratings. We trust that those in power will not abuse that power, that those who have been victimized are telling the truth about how and why and what has happened to them.
We trust that we can go to work every day, do our jobs to the best of our ability, then go home at the end of the day to our families and carry on with our lives.
So much trust has been shattered lately, and replaced with fear, paranoia, anger, and doubt.
We can’t fix all of the problems of the world on our own, but maybe we can help restore the trust, one person and one interaction at a time.
Instead of seeing the bad in someone, try to empathize with them. Maybe they’re distracted behind the wheel because it’s been 5 years since they’ve been home and they can’t remember how to get there – and their GPS just fell on the floorboard.
Maybe they snapped at you because you’re the 167th customer of their shift and their feet are SO sore.
Maybe they cut you off because they’ve been visiting a sick relative in the hospital and are rushing home for their first shower in days, so they can get back to the hospital.
Maybe they’ve been stressing out because their kid has a wish list a mile long – and they can’t afford anything else on their maxed out credit card.
It’s possible that they didn’t have an agenda when they said “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas;” that they just didn’t know what you celebrate and didn’t want to risk offending you.
Maybe they’re soaking in grief because they lost someone they loved right before the holidays, and they can’t bear the thought of being happy or merry right now.
We’re all just people trying to make life a little better for ourselves each day. Maybe if we took five extra seconds to think of the person next to us instead, we could make life a little better for them, too.
Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas, friends.