“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”–Robin Williams
Robin Williams has always been one of my absolute favorites. When he died, it was one of those celebrity deaths that hits you like a family member. I remember being shocked at finding out someone who was the source of joy for so many, was struggling so mightily in his own skin. We all do this to some degree every day. We put on a happy face for our children when we’re having a bad day because we don’t want to worry them. We put on a happy face for our boss, our co-workers, the barista. Maybe you stubbed your toe that morning and that’s all it is. Maybe you worry about your sister going in for a lumpectomy. Maybe you’re going through a divorce. We shouldn’t have “tragedy contests,” comparing one person’s pain to another. It all feels real and hard to each of us individually.
The other day I did the bad soccer-mom thing and drove through for fast food for my child who has a very specific order…so specific that I always make sure to check it before I leave. It was, of course, wrong. When I pointed this out to the guy working the drive thru, he said, “No it’s not, that’s exactly what you ordered.” My son was surprised when my reply was, “Ok, thank you!” and drove away. I told him it wasn’t worth arguing over and we have no idea what kind of workday that man was having or what kind of home he goes to at the end of it. Finding tiny spots of kindness for others throughout the day is the right thing to do. I sure hope somebody gives me a break on the days putting on a happy face is extra hard.
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