"Be kind, for everyone's fighting a battle you know nothing about."
I love this quote. It drives my attitudes towards others and reminds me to treat others with kindness and respect. I've talked several times on the blog about how strangers give me death glares when they hear me cough and how difficult that is on my self-esteem. I get frustrated by the lack of humanity of some people when they are concerned for their own well-being and think I'm dangerously ill and contagious when in fact I am struggling to breathe with a genetic, chronic, non-contagious disease.
Similarly, in my stuttering class, we're talking about how people who stutter often fear talking to strangers because they don't want to be judged based on their speech. They are anxious of what people will say when they stutter. They dread listener's reactions. All these attitudes tend to stem from a negative experience that clouded all the positive experiences with distrust.
The more I learn about people who have different disorders/difficulties, the more I understand how similar we all are. Everyone wants to fit in and "belong" somewhere. We all hate when people call us out on our biggest insecurities. Just like I hate when people glare at me because of my cough or people who stutter fear their speech characteristics. Why don't we all realize that everyone is going through something? Why do we as humans tend to judge others quickly and without compassion? Why don't we treat everyone with kindness, assuming the best of people?
Challenge for the week: This week, treat everyone you interact with with kindness and dignity. Assume the best of people. If someone is rude or mean to you, try to remember everyone is fighting a battle. It will change the way you respond to others and the way you think about difficult people you come in contact with.