On Considering Others
Friday, October 09, 2009
There is something about a cold and rainy day that I absolutely love - even if I have to spend it in a cube and not curled up in fuzzy socks, under the covers with a book. This morning found me burrowed into my down vest, pensive. This has been sort of a rough year - not just for me, but also for my closest friends - the J's and the K's. I can confidently speak for all five of us when I say that no tears will be shed when 2009 passes into 2010. Good riddance, 2009. Smell ya later.

I overheard someone say something profound in the grocery store (talking on their cell phone while staring absently at the marshmellows and baking chocolate) and it has been rolling around in my head ever since. She said "don't ever forget, that everyone you meet is fighting a battle." I have no idea with whom she was speaking, and it doesn't matter because she's so right. Since then, I've found myself wondering about people in my life, people I see on the street, people I get really angry with and want to kick in the teeth - they are all fighting something. Someone.

Everyone, at some point, has to trudge uphill.

Two songs popped up on my iPod shuffle this morning - in eerie succession, no less...and there I was, thinking again of my friends. They are the closest friends I have (of the people who are not my blood relations, that is) - they are the best parts of myself. And they/we are all walking uphill. We are all fighting something -- waking up every day and drawing on reserves of steel and hope that spring from a hidden place within ourselves. Waking up to the suffering of loved ones. Waking up to the pressure of the unknown. Waking up to unrest and illness.

The songs It's Alright (Indigo Girls), and River Constantine (Jars of Clay) put everything into perspective for me today.

Look around you and you'll find that ALL of us are in need of a little more love from someone, a little more support, a little more time, understanding, patience. May we all remember that as we mindlessly live out our daily lives, thinking we're the only ones that have problems. As Patty Griffin wrote, "How hard would it have been to say some kinder words instead?"

Kindness and compassion, when given sincerely, is wasted on no one.

This entry dedicated to the only people in the world that could cause me to burst into random tears (and truly not care who saw) on the 8:00am Chicago Water Taxi. PMS anyone?