They’re funny creatures, people.
They’re going to hurt you. They’re going to let you in and shut you out. They’re going to lie to you. They’re going to manipulate you. They’re going to say things that they simply cannot take back. They’re going to earn your trust and they’re going to betray it. They’re going to confuse you. They’re going to drive you crazy. Love them anyway.
They’re going to surprise you. They’re going to leave you speechless. They’re going to put a smile on your face when you least expect it. They’re going to make you laugh. They’re going to make you cry. Love them anyway.
They aren’t always going to be perfect. They’re going to have bad days, and they might even take it out on you. They’re going to shoot a frown your way, they’re going to follow your car far too closely, and they’re going to conspicuously cut you in line at the grocery store. Love them anyway.
Because people are people. And at their core, there is an inherent vulnerability. We’re vulnerable to bad moments, to bad days, and to bad weeks. We’re vulnerable to taking out our emotions on other people. We’re vulnerable to prejudice, hatred, and bullying. We may be strong enough to work past these vulnerabilities – to not give in to our downfalls. But we’re people. We’re human. And we all have bad days.
A bad moment turns into a bad hour. A bad hour turns into a bad day. And a bad day turns into a bad week. It’s cyclical. It continues. Unless, that is, something breaks the chain.
A smile. A reassuring text message. A tight bear hug to remind us that the world is still full of comfort. Chain breakers. Small, subtle, and instantaneous.
People are going to make you angry, sad, confused, and upset. Don’t fight fire with fire – break the chain. That woman who just gave you the bird on the interstate? Return her gesture with a small smile. It might just make her rethink her afternoon. That man who just cut you in line at the gas station? Cut him some slack. He might have somewhere exponentially important to be. We don’t know everyone’s stories. We won’t ever know everyone’s stories. But we know that everyone struggles and everyone is human. Cut them some slack. Love them anyway.
You’d be surprised at how relaxed your own life can become when you begin to let go of others’ imperfections. There’s no need to get angry about that rude comment someone made or that unsightly gesture. Let it roll. Shake it off. It doesn’t make you a pushover, it makes you strong. Because as soon as you let the negative emotions rise, you’ve continued the chain, and you’ve taken on the hurt and the anger yourself. You let someone else’s bad day become your own. Be confident enough to accept the downfalls of human beings. Be confident enough to accept the downfalls of yourself.
Because you’re a person too. Love yourself anyway.