Photography credit: 3 Little Birds Photography
Earlier this week, I was scheduled to work a private event at the brewery. I had been babysitting since 8 that morning, and I was already tired. Several things about the private event were annoying me- they showed up early, they had a ton of decorations set up, furniture was moved, etc. All things that were not a huge deal at all, but regardless I was annoyed. I just had a bad attitude. The event got under way and before too long, people were getting up to make speeches.
The event was a memorial service for a man who had passed away. Yes, I was annoyed with people who were there for a memorial service. Not my proudest moment. As I was listening to the speeches, particularly to his wife’s speech, I was moved. And ashamed. These people were grieving the loss of a husband, of a father, of a friend. And I was annoyed with them. How self-centered could I be?
So, so often I lose sight of the world around me. Of the big picture. I get lost in my own feelings and in my own perspective. I forget to be compassionate. I forget to treat others the way I want to be treated. I forget to lead with love.
This is one of my favorite ‘viral’ posts:
The fact is, we have no idea what people are going through. The lady who cut in front of you in line at the grocery store? Maybe she’s distracted thinking about whether or not she has enough money to buy the groceries in her cart. The guy who cut you off on the interstate? Maybe someone in his family is at the emergency room and he’s trying to get there as fast as he can. The mom with the screaming toddler in the middle of Walmart? Maybe he’s autistic and she’s trying her hardest to keep him from a full blown melt down. The people who have an elaborate and large memorial service that I have to work? Maybe they are grieving the loss of a hugely important person in their life and making an effort to honor him in the way he deserves.
Every day we encounter people who are dealing with loss, or divorce, or abuse, or financial struggles, or depression, or stress. And we have no idea. And sometimes, people are just assholes. Be kind anyways. Be kind to everyone. Lead with love. Be a positive example to your friends and your kids and the people around you to treat people with compassion, and dignity, and love.
For me, I always regret treating people poorly. No matter how they treat me. I regret lowering myself to someone’s level when they are rude to me and I ALWAYS regret treating someone poorly (out of impatience or exhaustion or whatever) when they are treating me well.
At the memorial service, I wasn’t outwardly annoyed. I was helpful and respectful, but inside I was annoyed. I was not thinking thoughts full of compassion or love. I was focusing so much on my own feelings that I forgot about loving the people around me. But when I realized how selfish I was being, it made me want to be better in the future. More compassionate and more kind.
It’s not easy to admit to myself when I’m not being the best version of me that I can be. It’s even harder to admit it publicly. But I truly believe one of my greatest blessings is my self-awareness. I’m constantly reflecting on my actions and the meaning that they have for me and the world around me. I’m always looking for ways I can get better and lead a more positively impactful life. And I hope that by sharing I can encourage you to be more self-aware and realize that you can make the world brighter just by making an effort to be kind and most importantly, making an effort to lead with love.
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
Thank you for reading. Please share this post with someone who needs to see it today and let me know what you thought!