It’s easy to have strong opinions about someone else’s situation — until you’re in that situation yourself. It’s easy to judge what someone else is doing — how they are reacting to the situation they’re in at the moment — when you don’t have to be in that situation yourself.
You believe in justice. So do I. You believe in fairness and doing the right thing. And so do I. You believe in kindness, empathy, and fighting for those who can’t fight for themselves. And so do I .
We are people with deep beliefs about what is fair.
But you’re going to change how you think about fairness and compassion and “what is right” when you’re in the middle of unexpected tragedy. I will too.
You might believe that the judicial system is the best course of action for handling justice. But you’ll change how you think about that when someone you love doesn’t get justice.
You might believe that good people don’t get fired and that everything works out in the end. But you’ll change how you think about that when you’re notified unexpectedly that today is your last paycheck.
You might believe that everyone needs to be heard and loved and tolerated. But you’ll change how you think about that when the people who want to be heard are people that you disagree with vigorously.
We’re complex people — driven by love, pain, regret and fear.
It’s all too easy to crumble under the pressures of life. I crumble. You do too. So do your clients, peers, community members and everyone else you know.
We all get reborn when chaos strikes. Our thinking changes. Our priorities change. Our perceptions and perspectives and possibilities all warp under the weather of tough times.
Which is why it’s important to put yourself in someone else’s position before you judge them.
Ask yourself honestly: What would you do if you were them? Would you break? Would you bend? Would you cry, lash out, or seek revenge?
There are things that you think you would do right now. But they’re most likely not the things you will actually do when tragedy strikes.
And that’s not because you’re a bad person or don’t have core values.
It’s quite simply the fact that troubled times have a way of refining us — potentially making us better. But that refining process is painfully horrific.
And when you’re in the middle of it you will do things you never thought possible before.
Everything changes when it’s your baby.