I love to people-watch. I like to see the interactions people have with each other. I have the frequent “blessing” (I use that term carefully in this situation) of watching a dad bully and physically hurt his kids; berating them, looking at them like they are the scum of the earth, pushing them forcefully and always being very rough with them. It breaks my heart to see people being treated this way. Yes there are two sides to every story; I see that they are hard kids… and a lot of them, I see the stress in the dads eyes, I know there are financial stresses and I see the mother doing nothing to help. I know the dad walks a tough road. But that doesn’t excuse the behavior.
The reason I call it a blessing to see this so often is that it makes me appreciate what I have with my family more. It makes me hug them tighter, love them more and be easier on them.
It helps me see what an amazing dad my boys have and how lucky they are to have the relationship that they do with him.
It also helps me be more kind to people in general. Everyone has something they are dealing with. We can’t judge. This dad has a lot on his plate. We can’t judge how he reacts to stress. And those kids have a lot to deal with having such a rough dad. We can’t judge them for misbehaving.
Everyone has something. It’s not our job to criticize or judge, but to love everyone. Maybe our love for them (a smile, a “hi how are ya?”, an offer to help) is the only love they feel all day.
We can’t pretend to know what everyone is going through. But we can realize that everyone we see has one thing or another to deal with. Be kind to everyone and the world will be better for it.