If you have loved the people around you during your life, then every time you meet a gray haired old man, think of your grandfather. Did you go fishing or hunting? Did he teach you how to plant a tomato, or how to sharpen your knife?
When you meet a gray haired woman, think of your grandmother. Did she always call you “sweetie” or “darlin'” even when you were in your twenties and beyond? Did she ever make a bad biscuit? Was her cornbread the best you ever ate? Did she always make the bed for you, or give you 50 cents for the ice cream truck. Did she tell you no as much as your Mom?
When you deal with people who are trying to get you to do the right thing, think about your parents. You didn’t always want to do what they told you, but…did you love them anyway? Did they pay for things you took for granted? Your blue jeans or your boots? Did they wait up late at night until you got back home? Did they teach you to drive? Did they have misty eyes when you moved out of the house to live on your own? If they did…you didn’t see it, they didn’t let you.
When you see a younger person, rebellious…with different ideas about how to live life, think of your son or your daughter. Headstrong or graceful. Know it all, or know nothing. Did you love them anyway? Do you still? Have they changed? Have you?
When you see a little child, blonde or black headed. Blue eyes or brown. Smiling up at the clouds in the sky. Singing the “ABC” song, and reading you a book…in gibberish you could never understand. Stacking blocks and knocking them across the room. Running at full speed and tripping over their own feet. Growing so very quickly that days seem like hours and years seem like weeks. Grinning up at you so sweetly. Laying in your lap napping.
When you see a little yapping dog, or a big gently mutt, or a purring kitty, or even those who run free in the streets and are not cared for, do you….would you…think back on a beloved pet you had at some point during your life. How would you treat them?
When we see people who are perfect strangers, we must think that all people we see are somebody’s grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren. No matter what their race, creed, color, sexual orientation, religion, etc., etc., etc. No matter where they are, or where you are. Everyone is someone to someone else.
Life is not only just a circle and a cycle, but a circle within a circle, and a cycle of many things, for many people. We cannot know what anyone else is going through in their lives. I’ll tell you this, sometimes I can barely keep up with what’s going on in my own life!
We jump to conclusions. We judge based on looks, or based on information we hear second hand. We speak first without thinking about what we are saying.
As an old Clint Black song once said: “Put yourself in my shoes, walk a mile for me!”
I know for sure I ought to be doing more of that. I wish we all would do more of that.