Can you imagine what it would belike if we had the ability to see into the lives of the people we encounter eachday? What would it be like to discoverthat each person we encounter has something going on that we would otherwise nothave known about: Fear or pain, feelings ofdiscontent or a lack of purpose, addiction, loneliness, grief or loss,or an unmet need. Can youimagine what it would be like to see people in such a way? To see that the people we are surrounded byare not just "other people" and see them for who they really are, not what we assume them to be. To see that they, just like you and I, havetriumphs and struggles.
If we were ableto see these things about people, we would discover that we certainly cannotjudge a book by its cover. That eachperson we meet is worthy of love, compassion, and empathy. That we really must walk a mile in anotherman's shoes before we can truly understand him.
If you can imagine what it wouldlike to see people in such a way, can you imagine what it would be like to be those people? What would it be like to grieve the death ofyour best friend? To run away from homeat a young age? To be bullied? To go bankrupt? To feel alone? What might it feel like to live through tragedy,heartbreak, loss? What might it feellike to know pain?
If we could see people in such anlight, and have compassion and empathy for them, we discover that we really arenot as different as may first think. Wehave all known pain or faced some hardship at some point in our lives. Yet, we seem to forget that about oneanother. We know that we must treat oneanother with kindness, that we must refrain from judgment, that we must be patient with them and ourselves. But so often, weforget this and treat people unjustly, harbor ill will towards them, or take their experiences for granted. So often, weignore the experience of others and assume that we have them all figuredout.
So often, we let the chance toshow someone love slip through our fingertips.
So what can we do aboutthis? What is the solution to thisproblem? The solution iscompassion. It is empathy. It is lovingkindness. It is doing good for others and doing goodfor ourselves. It is remembering that weare all in this together, that we are all interconnected and interdependentupon one another.
I encourage you to take a different kind of lookaround you today. Open your mind, take a deeper look, andtry to see what does not meet the eye. Have compassion for other people and show them how good you are. How good you know that they are. And if you cannot do this, at least do themno harm. Instead, take the time to reach out andtouch the hearts of those surrounding your, and in turn, allow your heart to betouched by theirs.