Thursday, September 22, 2011

Valleys (Obtuse)

A long December and there's reason to believe; Maybe this year will be better than the last ...
I can't remember the last thing that you said as you were leaving -
Oh the days go by so fast.

I posted yesterday on the topic of life's low points in Valleys (Acute). Today I want to probe this a bit further from a slightly different point of view, a slightly different angle.

There is an old saying, you cannot know of a man's burdens until you walk a mile in his shoes. While all of us would likely tip our head in acknowledgement of this truth, I'm quite sure that the lion's share of us have not taken this statement fully to heart. I know with nary a doubt that I certainly have not. But just for a moment, think back to the last time that you passed through a deep valley in your life, where you were shouldering hurt and pain well beyond your capacity. You balanced on the thin line between rage and insanity, where but a gentle breeze rippled by a butterfly's wings in the wrong direction could have pushed you over the edge. In such a circumstance, how did you behave when in the presence of others? Were you your normal plucky self? Did you make conversation and flash your winning smile? Were you fully within your normal bounds? ... Of course not! You were likely unbearable to be around. Surly, rude, introverted, emotional, angry at everyone and everything. But likely you never announced to those in your world what you were going through.

In such moments when somebody treats your poorly, without regard to your feelings, do you ever consider that they are dealing with something onerous? That they have been pushed beyond their abilities, churning on the inside with thoughts and possibilities that they never could have imagined? Or do you, like I typically do, quickly label them a jerk and think wholly negative thoughts? Perhaps we should not be so quick to fire that gun chambered with insults and hatred. Perhaps we could try to respond in kindness or at least to hold our tongues. For you never know a man's burdens ... don't cause that breeze that sends someone over their edge.