Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Weakness or Strength?

It seems that every where I turn lately people are suffering. I don’t know if there is really more suffering than there has been in the past, or if just the people I know are suffering more, or if I’m just more sensitive. But it does seem that more and greater burdens are being placed upon people. As I’ve observed this adversity in people’s lives I’ve learned so much. The most important thing is to never judge. You absolutely never know what people have gone through or what they are going through.

I remember a story a friend told me years ago. He had been to a party of young adults and saw a beautiful, well dressed, young woman that he maneuvered to meet. As he “positioned” himself to meet her he found out that besides being beautiful she was well educated, and everyone reported that she was a lot of fun to be around. Finally he met her, but was immediately put off by her speech. Her words were not clearly enunciated and often slurred. He thought that someone as educated should take the time to speak properly and so he left her as soon as he got the chance and went on to visit other people.

Later in the evening he was talking to someone who had seen him with the woman. “She’s amazing, isn’t she?” the man said. My friend answered, “Yes, but you’d think she’d speak more clearly.” The man stared at him, “For someone who is almost totally deaf, I think it’s remarkable that she’s learned to read lips and speak as well as she does.” I don’t need to explain how that stunned my friend. What he had judged as a failing was actually a miraculous achievement.

Not all of our adversity and suffering is obvious to others, but it all affects us and the very thing we may judge as a weakness in others may be an amazing act of bravery and courage. In short, we need to not judge but always support and encourage each other.


Megan said...

This reminds me of a quote I read the other day. "Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." -Marjorie Hinkley

Loved your post today!(And everyday!)

5L's said...

thanks for another great post and reminder! i look forward everyday to what you have to share! :)

Wendi said...

As I've continued to go through struggles with my emotional health, I've been so thankful for people who have been kind and understanding. I appreciate the encouraging words, hugs, and prayers from my family and friends more than they will probably ever know. I've also learned that we all have something difficult to deal with in life. I've never understood why I have to struggle so much to do even the simplest things on most days, but through it all I have learned to have empathy for others and their struggles. It's been a great blessing to me.

My mom mentioned that she saw you at Costco today. Thank you for your kindness in asking about me. Your blog has been a bright spot in my life. Thank you for the insight and uplifting thoughts that you share. I'm a better person because of your good influence. Thank you for all you do, Sherrie. :)

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Megan, Thanks for adding that quote. It fits perfectly!

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

5L's, Thanks for your kind words! You are wonderful!

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Wendi, I do hope you get feeling better soon!