As some of you may know, I have only been at this job since the end of October, so I don’t really know this co-worker very well, but it struck me pretty hard. Mostly because this woman is so friendly, so happy, so warm, I just would have never known that her husband was quietly battling cancer at home. Immediately, I thought of the following quote: “be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” I thought it was perfectly suitable. We pass by our co-workers, neighbors, people at the supermarket and sometimes we don’t even stop for a moment to think about that passerby. More often than not we are aggravated that they are talking their time strolling through the aisles or frustratingly messing with the copier and slowing down our day. We assume the smile is for real, we don’t think otherwise. It’s not until something happens that stops us dead in our tracks that maybe we think about that person for more than a few seconds. We are all trying our bests to shield ourselves to the world. If the cover is there, then we are safe. Some of us have been taught to put on that brave face and move forward, dare we inconvenience others with our emotions. I know I am guilty of it. The moment emotion gets the best of me in places I feel like its not acceptable I am saying sorry before even completing the emotion. Why are showing these feelings so wrong? This co-worker is going to come back to work at some point and face the world, she is going to want to put on that brave face but she should know that she shouldn’t have to. Why do we have to feel like its immediate to distract with work? Wouldn’t it make sense to go through the pain instead of around it?
Whenever I am a passenger in a car driving through a neighborhood I can’t help but look at each house and wonder what it would be like to live in that house? What is going on in that particular house? Are those people happy? Are they having struggles that seem never ending? Are they ok? What would life be like if I wasn’t who I am? Our house is a cover just like our face and just like our clothes. Sometimes if we distract enough with our exterior no one will need to poke through or peel back the armor. But wouldn’t it be interesting if we could see it all, would there be a level of sympathy that is so desperately needed in this world? Especially because all we do is filter, filter, filter. We filter our pictures we share with the world and in turn we filter who we are. Are these the walls we have created for protection? If I can filter myself then I can avoid the judgments and rejections we are all so afraid of.
Maybe I am just looking for a more sympatric, less judgmental world for my children to grow up in, I don’t know. This is just a simple rant of a unconscious streaming. Maybe I should just quit while I am ahead and hope that we take moments to really ask if someone is ok, to try to not get frustrated by someone else who is simply going about their day, to try to be more us, less filtered, to try to be more truthful. Is it possible to be more like friends and less like enemies?