“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I met a young woman recently who instantly struck me as intelligent and compassionate, with a quick wit and heart-warming smile. I found out a few minutes later that she’d recently been kicked out of her family’s house for being gay, as her warm personality belied her tears of a painful rejection.
I ran into one of my favorite neighbors the other evening while walking my dogs. I hadn’t seen him all summer. He gave me a big smile and hug, loved on my pups and told me a couple of jokes. You’d never know, as I found out the next day, that he’d just lost his mother to Alzheimer’s, and his wife to a sudden heart attack.
Consider this: Let’s give everyone we meet the benefit of the doubt. They may not be cold. They may be smiling through their pain. Offer up a kindness so they’ll know the world is still OK.