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Slow Your Role

My sister sent the above two images to our family group text. The drawing is obviously not a masterpiece painted by Claude Monet. Instead, it is a much simpler image with a more meaningful message. We tend to think what we are growing through is the worst and hardest and usually never consider what trials others may be enduring.

Before I received this image, I had a similar reflection. A few weeks ago, I was irritated by a driver who cut me off on a two-way road. It could have been an ugly collision, but thankfully it wasn't. After the driver drove through the yellow light and I sat waiting for the red light to turn to green, I had a thought. What if she was in a hurry to go to a doctor's appointment? Or what if someone she knew had an emergency and rushed to assist them? Or could it be that nothing was going right, her mind was elsewhere, and she was having a horrible day? Or maybe she was just a careless driver that morning. Who knows. The more I thought about it, the less annoyed I became.

Sometimes my children share a few of their classmates' vexatious tendencies. My automatic response usually sounds like, "You never know what their home life is like. You don't know what they have gone through. Since we don't know, it's better to extend grace." It's easier to react negatively with negativity, but we need to slow our role.

We can't take things at face value regarding other people's lives. We forget other people are human too, and they have experiences and emotions that are different from our own, which may prompt them to react or communicate in a certain way.

Let's consider how we can be kind and respectful to one another. We're all walking through some kind of hardship or have come out of one and can use an extra dosage of goodwill.

"Don't look at a window and only see your reflection; try to look beyond it and see who may be on the other side." ~Susan Ahn

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