(taken August 22, 2021)
A thought crossed my mind the other day that I wanted to share with you.
Our ability to show acceptance and care to the people around us depends heavily on our ability to build and nurture relationships.
Every moment where we interact with another human being, each person is taking a snapshot of the other. In those moments, information is passed on (sometimes verbally) and interpreted. That information will then be used to help one understand the other (or not), and as you continue to have these interactions with the same person, you build upon yourself a rounder picture of who they are.
Every interaction has an opportunity to create more understanding, or it has the ability to feed into assumptions you may already have about that person.
Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms are a great way of capturing some of these snapshots. It can also cause a tendency to compare your life to the seemingly perfect and constantly inspiring lives of others. I sometimes find myself letting my missed goals and failures define who I am, as I watch the successes and advancements of others on my phone screen.
I often think about what it means to have patience, as it’s a trait that I wish came much more easily to my character. I think about the times when I lose my patience, when I make assumptions of people, surroundings, and circumstances, and use those assumptions as a means of making sense of the moment, and quickly (sometimes as a default) making rash decisions to react to these assumptions.
What I’ve been mulling over the past few days has been realizing that the not-so-optimal moments that people have shouldn’t define who they are. I’m learning that it’s not a fair way of looking at others, and it’s also not a fair way of looking at myself.
I also have to remind myself that life isn’t always the snapshots that are worth highlighting. It’s easy to assume that the lives of others are happier, more fruitful, or more complete than your own. But there’s a high probability that it’s an inaccurate assumption.
Thanks for listening.