I was in a large crowded area the other day waiting for an appointment. I usually like to melt into the crowd, stay to myself, and sometimes people watch. We humans are an interesting study! But, this day, I was disturbed by what I saw and heard.
I know that most people will say that the world has changed and become a harder, more fearful place to live…and I agree, this is true. I also believe that so many social graces have fallen by the wayside, with social media making it ok to “say anything”. Again, I hear most people say that we all just have to grow a thicker skin, let it roll off, or not take it personal. (which, incidentally, I do not necessarily agree with).
But…what if it IS personal?
This is what I saw…there were many people of all shapes, sizes, and colors in this room. Yet, I overheard (because they were loud, I was not intentionally listening) two women criticizing and making fun of another woman sitting a few chairs away. Because these women were loud, the other woman also overheard what they were saying. I saw her shoulders slump, and she turned slightly away. The women continued their verbal assault on this woman that they did not know who had not done or said anything to them. I was getting irritated and felt compassion for the poor young lady and was about to get up and speak to the two that were cackling, but then the young lady got up herself…and walked out of the office, I can only assume to get away from these women and their awful judgmental voices.
It made me so sad…and I thought…how can we do this to one another? Those two women did not know who the other woman was or what her life was like, what her story was. EVERYONE has a story, that life story that makes them who they are. Everyone. And we have no right to judge another’s story. We also do not know how much hurt a person can feel from a careless whisper. What if that young lady was already in a sensitive place, and those harsh words from a careless person, sent her over the edge? We do not know how badly they can be affected…and we should consider this when we feel compelled to judge or say something unkind, flippant, or harsh. As we all are, because we are human.
The thing is…we do not know what people’s hearts look like. We do not know what they have been through.
And one careless whisper can ruin one day, one life. Why would we ever want to do this?
But a kind word, a kind whisper…can also change a person’s day.
Our hearts should look like this…from the kind words we hear each other say.
Let us make sure our words reflect Love and Kindness…and that which we would want to hear back as well.