Monday, October 6, 2014

We all have our own battles

Everyone has their own battle, everyone has their own cross to bear, everyone has their own struggles. No matter how you say it, or which cliché you use, the fact is, everyone, without exception is going through something that others don't know about. Whether it is physical or emotional, literal or figurative, no one gets through life without some sort of challenge, struggle or lesson.

Further, none of us knows everything someone else is going through. We may thing Mr. Jones down the street has everything. He has the biggest house, most beautiful yard with a swimming pool, tennis court and even it's own meandering stream. We make think it's unfair that he has everything and we're struggling just to keep the lights on. There are 2 important facets to consider: 1) Do we have any idea how hard he worked for what he has? Have we ever considered how much time, hard work and struggles it took to get there?  And 2) Do we have any idea what struggles he goes through on a day-to-day basis that we don't see? All we see is the smiling face and fancy convertible as he drives by.

Whether or not we know those details, the bottom line is that it's really none of our business. What's more, it would be utterly impossible to know everything about a person's life, background and current situation. There is always more to the story. Not one of us knows the whole story of someone else's life.

If you think about it, sometimes we don't even understand the whole story of our own life! I don't know why I'm the way I am. I don't know why I seek the "atta boy" from my peers. I have a pretty good idea of the things that make me tick, and, on the contrary, the things that irritate the hell out of me. But I don't know the reasons for all of those. I know my own background more than anyone else though.

Since we never know the whole story, who are we to judge others based on the more obvious things we know about them? I'm as guilty as the next guy of judging people on what I know. But why do we as humans find a need to judge others at all? Is it because we place ourselves on a pedestal, high above everyone else? Or is it the opposite- we feel so inadequate or inferior ourselves, that we have to put others down to make up the difference? As mentioned,  I know and recognize that I am guilty of this myself and want to do better. I think of how much different society, and the world as a whole would be if we all put aside our prejudices, and judgements, and instead, treated everyone the way they want and deserve to be treated. Let's practice the Platinum rule, rather than the Golden, by treating others better than we want to be treated.

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