Everyday we encounter people...some friends, some strangers. As our own lives spin and bounce around in the hopper, we brush up against so many different streams of life with their own smooth parts and rough rapids. When you are standing behind a person in the grocery store...are they having "just another day" or "a really bad day" or "the best day of their life"?
We never really know. And worse, we seldom know it about family or those we call friends. Some of us have forums to share bits and pieces of our lives. And even then, we choose what to share and what to keep private. We have social media where we "share" things. But again, does it really paint the whole picture?
In many ways, our lives are on display through all these outlets, but think back to something dramatic that has happened in your life recently. Good or bad. Did you share some aspect of it on you social outlet of choice? Did it really capture the depth of feelings that event conjured up? And the reactions from your friends--did they offer support, congrats, condolences? And not to pick on Facebook, but if that event was a bad one, did people click the "like" button? Has that become so entrenched in our lives that we use that as a form of snubbing when we don't click, or support when we do?
Each of us have triumph and tragedy in our lives. It is normal to want some sort of comfort when we feel bad, just as it is fun to share an achievement. But when does it cross a line. How much is too much? And when does it morph from sharing to constantly reaching out for attention?
I am blessed to have some very fine people in my life. Like yours, mine has its ups and downs. Some of it gets shared here in a condensed form...some I keep to myself. The last several months have been a whirlwind of emotions and events--some good, some bad. But recently, it has made me more aware of those around me. Knowing what has been going on in my life, and how much I still keep to myself versus what is shared, I have a new goal to try and treat people with more compassion.
I have been the recipient of some emails the past few months as events have unfolded in my life that have offered kind words and support. What is amazing is that they come from people who have never met me face-to-face, but become friends over time nonetheless. When some of my fellow bloggers share something, be it good or bad, I am trying to give more than a generic response. I know what it has meant to me, and in my desire to continue to be a better person, I have come to realize what a few words can mean...imagine that! A writer discovering the power of words!
So, share your moments--good or bad--but more importantly, realize that your reactions to others around you may mean more than you know. You may unwittingly pull somebody back from the brink, or make them smile.
Words are power. Use them wisely.