Hope or Hate?

Being Thanksgiving week, I have been reflecting on all of the things I’m thankful for. My list is long, but what happens when you can’t find anything to be thankful for? What do you do when life is rough and you just can’t seem to smile? When the clouds never seem to part, but the rain and thunder and lightning keep pounding? kinder than necessary

There are so many in our society that face challenges and tougher problems than I could even imagine. I pass by them every day. Whether it’s the single parent at the grocery store who lingers in front of the milk, trying to decide if her children get to drink milk that week. Or the older gentleman who waits too long at the turn arrow because he’s thinking of his wife he just lost to cancer. Maybe it’s the 20-year-old waitress who just had an abortion and can’t look anyone in the eye anymore. You can’t tell these people have anything wrong; you just know that the single parent is standing in your way, the older gentleman made you late because you missed the turn arrow, and you just got horrible service from the waitress. How do we react to these types of situations? Do we ever hesitate to let them know what an irritant they are to our otherwise perfect lives? Do we patiently wait or react with kindness? Doubtful. I’m guilty, too.

My personal motto has always been, “Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.” I don’t always follow through, however.

I was watching this video posted on Beth Moore’s Facebook page a few days ago. In the video, she is reaching out to those who feel hopeless this holiday season. She talks about Kevin Briggs, the Golden Gate Bridge CHP officer, who has helped so many choose life over death. As he has been talking and listening to those poised on the edge of the bridge, contemplating ending their lives, there will be drivers in passing cars who will shout out, “Do it! Jump!” That is so heartbreaking to me. Absolutely heartbreaking.

Do you know what is worse to me? That every single day we may be just like those drivers, whether it be by our words or actions, who are nudging hurting people toward their own personal ledge of hopelessness and despair. When you encounter others how do you treat them? With respect and kindness? Or does it all depend on their performance? If they get out of your way, then you’re nice. If they use their turn signal, then you’re nice. If they serve you with a smile, then you’re nice. Our good manners are completely centered around how much another person helps or hinders us.

Please, this holiday season, think of others. Think of others and allow good manners and kindness to prevail.

If you’re hurting and need help, please call The Suicide Prevention Hotline.

About Meghan Zeile

Mom-in-the-know and local writer for Rochester Media. Always looking for tips with kids, family life, and fun local adventures. Contact at Meghan@rochestermedia.com

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