Do you ever question why people stand in the middle of a grocery store aisle seemingly oblivious to the fact that they are blocking your way? Do you wonder why students sometimes wield unkind language towards their peers? Do you wonder why some parents seem to make a mountain out of a molehill?
When we encounter people – children or adults – who act or react in ways we don’t understand, we can be quick to cast judgements. And yet most individuals are doing the best they can with the skills, circumstance and knowledge they have.
After taking my grandmother out for her 91st birthday today, I was reminded how much our life experience shapes who we are. These experiences are hidden to most others. Though we may see the choices someone makes, we cannot see what leads them to these choices, positive or negative.
Perhaps the stranger at the grocery store is distracted by a recent medical diagnosis. Perhaps the student hurling words at a classmate, heard those same words directed at him that very morning. Perhaps the parent is dealing with her own insecurities and fear. Perhaps we will never know ‘why’ as the answers lie deep within the past.
What I do know: today I will do my best and that is all I can expect of others.