He didn’t seem like much more than a person whom enjoyed his beers on Saturdays and watching Discovery Channel on the weekdays. Someone who was always there, wherever the party went he went, and you saw him, but he was quiet as a mouse. An observer, much like myself.
But one day I was at a dinner party and the people close to him unveiled stories of his childhood – they weren’t pretty. Fights, having to make big, life-changing decisions at the age of ten, a constant worry. The recipe for a person whom might become troubled when he’d reach adulthood. But he’s not troubled, not in the way you might expect. He’s quiet, but joyous. Secretly kind as hell and with a smile that casts over his face at all times. Granted, I don’t know what’s at the back of his mind as he sips his beers and looks at the groups of friends that cascade all throughout the bar, but I don’t worry.
I do look at him differently. More deeply. With more respect.
And as I think about his story, and the stories I’ve heard about all kinds of people and families, I realise that we, as people, are often too quick to judge. We forget that people are people, and not just tiny particles in our own life-story. We forget that everyone is their own leading role. We forget that there is always more behind the faces we know. There are thoughts that will never see daylight, wishes that may never come true, memories that are neatly tucked away between the things that they believe in.
When you think of the people in your life, especially when you’re judging them in the back of your mind (it happens to all of us, so long as you acknowledge and shift your thoughts, there’s nothing to feel ashamed of), think of them as people. Of souls filled with dreams for their path through life, full of passion and deep feelings and a story that roots deeper than we could ever imagine. And if you have the chance, if you feel close enough to another, if you feel like sharing, have a conversation. Talk about their life and your life and all that you believe in. Forget about the weather, no one truly wants to talk about that, it’s simply a filler of time that would otherwise be spent in silence. Go deep. Be open to receive and ready to give. People are human, don’t let that slip from your mind.