Random thoughts from an animal-loving French prof / mom of three on things she finds beautiful, funny, sad, or strange.

Friday, December 11, 2015

What if...?

What if, instead of giving the screaming kid's family filthy looks or nasty comments, we remembered that our kids were once the ones pitching fits in the middle of Walmart? Maybe then we could offer to help. Or at least an encouraging word. A smile. Something.

What if, instead of ignoring the man with his rattling box of coins, we remembered a time when we had to go without? Then we might go back to the sub shop, get the two-for-one deal, and give one of them away. Heck, we might give both. After all, we know when our next meal is coming.

What if, instead of listening to fear-mongering pundits and "leaders" undeserving of the name, we actually looked into a refugee's eyes? We might see overwhelming fear and loss. We almost might see a spark of something like hope, a spark that we could nurture with our compassion.

photo from The New York Times

What if, instead of seeing those with opposing views as cloven-hooved red beasts with horns and tails, we peeked underneath the mask? Yes, we might find another devil, but we might also find another soul who wants what we do: a world that is safe and happy and prosperous for those we love. We just get caught up in the particulars of how to make that happen.

And what if, rather than nursing grudges against those who have hurt us, we remember that someone surely has hurt them too? Maybe it was even us. Maybe empathy for their pain is the first step in letting go of our own.

All I'm asking is what if we walked a mile in another's shoes? Or ten feet? That may be enough. Or it might take ten miles. However long it takes, just think. What a marvelous gift that would be. 

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