Two Corners, One Message

A few days ago, en route to the gym, I was stopped at a red light and happened to look to my right. There I saw a corn-a-licious, heartwarming scene. It was what seemed to be a father and his young daughter, playing on the corner with their bags stacked on the sidewalk as they waited for a bus.  The little girl was behind him, hands in his pockets, as the man pretended he was looking for her. He kept turning and turning, flailing his arms in the air as if he was puzzled by where she might have gone. The little girl giggled and giggled, jumping around behind him, enjoying the delicious silliness of it all.

I watched and smiled, just enjoying the pureness and love in that moment. I never really had that sort of relationship with my father, and I felt happy for that little girl for her possession of that moment. The simple scene gave me comfort, hope and a warm, cuddly feeling. And I think we know by now, that I feed on these warm fuzzies like mice on cheese.

Then yesterday, I left work a little early because I wasn’t feeling well. I was stopped at a red light again, and also looked to the right (I guess this is my direction of choice). This time I saw a completely different scene on another, very different corner. There was a young man in a bright red sweater sitting on the sidewalk, surrounded by policemen, whirling around, looking very confused, scared and out of control. It was obvious he was pretty drugged up as the cops tried to control the situation and question him.

At that moment, I remembered the other, more pleasant corner scene I had seen a few days back, and suddenly felt a strange, but strong connection between the two. That little girl was seeking love, laughter and understanding from her father in the same way that the young man was searching for it from those cops.

Many of us would see a scene like that and automatically think lowly of that person, judge him, and ridicule him. But who knows what brought that young man to his current plight. Who knows what love or comfort he has been denied in his life, what trauma he might have experienced, and how scared he must be in order to act out in that way, and find himself on a street corner pleading for understanding.

So, I think I know what you’re thinking. That’s a lovely story Sonia, but what is your point? My point is about connection, kindness and understanding – things I believe we can all make an effort to exercise more often. I’ve already talked a lot about this in different ways.

It’s the idea that we are all essentially fighting the same battle and looking for the same comfort, that we should try and be more understanding of each other and less judgmental, and that we should extend our hands and hearts whenever we can. This doesn’t mean we should make excuses for people, give them way too many chances, or let them hurt us. But I do think we could stand to give a few chances away, because when you constantly tell someone they are nothing, they will start to believe it, and they will never think they are worth change. Plus, kindness doesn’t only help those you offer it to. Believe it or not, it can help quiet your own anxieties, and make your everyday richer, and more connected.

I really hope that little girl knows and appreciates what she has, and I hope that young man was offered the help he needs. I also hope that, in some small way, he knows someone out there is rooting for him. And I know. I’m so corny, you can hardly stand it. But it’s good for you. I promise!

Sonia, Word Share Junkie

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