The sun sets on another day…
I sat watching the sunset for a moment or an hour, I could not tell which for just an instant as my mind scanned the entirety of today, and reread it a hundred times before shaking my head, and watching the day end. I was on an unfamiliar street, with unfamiliar people, but the world and the situations were all too familiar.
If you have read anything I have written, you will know I try to be a little more positive and lift people up. Forgive me if it takes a moment to get there today. It will happen.
I was at a funeral today filled with people. Some knew each other, and some did not. The people at the center of the service were warm and welcoming, and in such a difficult time, everyone attending was made to feel as though they were special and important, and it was as it should be.
I was very impressed with the person leading the service at the beginning of it all. There were complexities in the entire scope of what was going on. A series of families broken then melded back together, and some remained broken. Being who I am, I saw the emotions of everyone around me, and it wasn’t easy. Some struggled with the situation, some struggled with the past, some struggled with the future, and some struggled with themselves.
I watched as four people bared their souls and shared the life of a magnificent woman with the attendees. People nodded, people smiled, people laughed, and people cried. I thought to myself, “This is how people should be, sharing and feeling,” and then was lost for a moment as my sister spoke of love, passion, and everything in between. The stories were good, but there was still a complexity and uneasiness as two sides of an uneven coin lay separate and apart.
It was here that the entirety of this post sits. The leader of the service knew the person who passed away well, perhaps too well. At that point, they decided to deliver a series of words with good intentions. They gave a narrative they had been given and expressed it to a part of the family that may not have been familiar with it. They admonished a situation that they had not lived. They assumed that what they were doing was good, but in this particular case, they did not consider all the dynamics of the situation. If I were looking at this from above, I could teach that to give advice or determine a course of action. It is essential to have all sides of the equation filled out. It is even more critical when you guide someone’s life or hold their life in your hand.
You may not think words have an effect. Your comments may be right for a situation. You may be right. You may also need to be corrected.
In the grand scope of communication, the best communication is often silence. What follows for a second here is an opinion that often is the core of personal interaction.
In this situation, there was a divorce. The children did or did not understand the situation and were adult enough to make their own decisions. A rift was created between the children and the parent, and for over 20 years, the situation was strained or nonexistent. That is only what I know, but it is the tip of the iceberg. The leader of the service made a statement and assumed that they knew the situation completely. For them, it was real because what they had been made aware of was devastating, and there was no excuse for how things were. The question becomes, “was that reality?” and in that question lies my issue today. There were three people yesterday looking for guidance and growth. There were three people yesterday dealing with demons that they will never be able to excise now. There were three people that were near defeated, and a series of words were thrown out that was a literal coup de grace.
Is there an answer here?
There is an answer. If you do not know all sides of the situation, it is often better to remain silent. If you are standing with someone and they say they are at the edge of a cliff, your job should be to help them up, not push them over the edge. We often feel that we have a right to push our initiative based on what we think we know, and in the end, what do we really know? I know only one thing: I am on a journey, and I am imperfect. I learn and grow every day. I revise who I am daily because I am willing to open my mind and see beyond myself. I know that all of the things I see are different from what everyone else sees. I am sure many have no concept of what I see, and just as importantly, I cannot see the world through their eyes.
This is a long bunch of words just to say before you open your mouth. It’s important to understand what you’re talking about. It is important to know all situations. It is important to have compassion. It is important to be the person to others that you would like to address you.
So as the sun sets on another day, sorry about this ridiculously long post. I just felt it was important to push people out to the forefront and set aside our personal biases. With that, I leave you with something I used to say a lot, “be careful what you say and make your words sound soft and sweet, for you don’t know from day to day which ones you’ll have to eat.” Be the person that listens more than talks and be amazing every day, no matter what.
Sleep sweet, love life, and be you…