You don’t know

Each individual comes with a story. More often than not, that story is complicated, wrapped in experiences that ignite some combination of hurt, excitement, loss and love.

I am compelled multiple times a day to learn those stories that people have tucked away in their back pocket. Most of the time I will candidly ask someone, “so how did you two get married? How did you get to the place you’re at right now?” as if it’s as common as asking, “hey how are ya?”

Other times I observe the actions of others: how they respond to questions asked, their facial expressions as they talk with another and a million other cues. I’m fascinated by it all, but it can be difficult to not let my own emotions get the best of me.

Sometimes I feel like I should be doing more for other people, yet so much is simply out of my control. I just want to solve everyone’s problems and bring them peace of mind and a pillow to rest their head on at night. Wanting to understand other people’s stories and provide them happiness where I sense despair is a constant internal battle I deal with.

In the span of a one hour lunch I go from seeing a homeless man struggling to find food right to businessmen and women driving around in BMW’s. And ya know what? The businessmen and women have a story, too. Maybe they struggled to get where they are now and had to overcome hardships to achieve the success that they wanted. I don’t know. And neither do you. Which is why it’s so important to disregard outward appearances and superficial statuses and try to get to the root of the story instead.

There doesn’t seem to be a solid solution for my conflict. That’s why it I tend to be disheartened by it. I guess all I’m asking is that if you’re reading this, do your best to view everyone fairly and with good grace. Some are struggling, some are not. But regardless, everyone deserves the chance to not only tell his or her story, but to have it heard.

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