One of my favorite poems is titled “Richard Cory“. It’s about a man who was envied by the people of his community for his status, his wealth and his character. Everyone wanted to be like him and everyone wanted the life He had. Then one summer night, whilst the people were tired from toiling for their daily bread, Richard Cory went home and put a bullet through his head. I promise, there is a point to this story.
We don’t know what another person might be going through. We don’t know what they’ve dealt with, the traumas they’ve experienced, or the tragedies they’ve braved through.
We don’t know the sorrows behind their eyes or the truth behind their smile. We don’t know the sadness they mask behind their irritability or the reason behind their anger. And despite knowing these, for some reason or the other, many of us fall victim to finding faults more than excuses for other people.
And I’m not saying, it can’t be annoying when another person cuts a queue in front of you, or when the waiter is rude, or when a bike rider bashes your car on the road and then creates a scene by claiming it is your fault. Here’s what I’m saying, give them the excuse that “maybe they are having a bad day”.
If a man cuts a queue, give him the excuse that maybe He has an ailing wife, He has to return to. If a woman scolds you inappropriately for how you holding your kid (and I know that can be pretty annoying), give her the excuse that maybe she is still grieving from a miscarriage. If the customer is rude, as much as you can, tell them “thank you” when they are done.
Just that word of kindness might be what they need to put things into perspective. You might not notice it, and they might not show it at that moment, but the benefit of doubt you gave them, that gesture of kindness, might have been exactly what they needed to hear.
There’s this Arab saying- give a person seventy excuses. I remember when I used to think, well I’ve given “XX” (for the sake of anonymity), seventy excuses. But apparently, I didn’t understand the saying well. Seventy, was just an expression and not to be taken literally- always give people and excuse.
I know, I’m out hear preaching like I didn’t just get upset that the Gotv subscription we paid for since Friday hasn’t been fixed, or that the hairdresser who was supposed to dye my hair on Saturday is still a no show. But what I’m saying is, it is okay to be disappointed, and it’s okay to feel “some type of way” but rather than project it outward on someone else, give the other party an excuse while dealing with the disappointment, or anger. Trust me, this is a reminder for me as well.
That being said, for this week’s goal: Try as much as you can to give people an excuse for their unruly attitudes.
Have a great week and wishing you lots of love, laughter and coffee