You Never Really Know What Someone Else is Going Through

This guy was trying to scoot past another guy in line behind me the other day at a store. He said, “watch out?” in a pretty convivial tone. He wasn’t trying to butt in, he just wanted to slide by and continue his shopping.

The guy behind me (the one who was being asked to step aside) pretty much lost it and made an aggressively snarky remark, the message of which boiled down to “you should’ve said ‘excuse me’ dude”.

I found it a bit much, but didn’t turn around. I then heard the guy behind me tell the girl behind him that his reaction was purely because he’d had a bad day, and he was in a bad mood. That wouldn’t have set me off either, but then the angry dude made some unnecessary disparaging remarks about the passerby guy. Including unnecessary and low-blow insults.

Listen. Listen. Always be aware that other things are happening outside of your world at all times. You never know what a shitty day a stranger has been through at any given time. Regardless of the shitty day you’ve had yourself. You never know what happened to someone 30 minutes before you lost it on them for little to no reason.

I’m not saying that this was the case today with this guy. I’m not even saying that you shouldn’t tell people off at times (because at times, people deserve it). And I am absolutely not saying we’re not allowed to be salty about people (because people do suck a lot of the time). But this guy in line behind me was projecting his feelings onto this other guy who clearly had no ill will toward him. I was there, and I heard the jovial tone in the alleged offender’s voice. How does he know what the deal was with the guy who innocently excused himself without saying “please”? It was just unnecessary venom.

I’ve had days where I feel shitty and hopeless in my life…and through some irony, those days are always the days when I encounter someone who approaches me for help at the most inopportune time.  What I’ve found is that in those times when I feel the most sorry for myself, helping someone else out or just listening to someone else’s plight, even those of strangers, usually does me some good. Either it helps put things into perspective, or it just distracts me from my own train wreck momentarily, which is a good thing. And there’s some euphoria that comes from helping someone out, at least if you’re a human with empathy.

If you have first world problems, there’s usually someone with worse first world problems, let’s be honest. And there’s always someone with worse problems, period. If we could all just be a little more cognizant of that, and more considerate of each other in general, we’d all be better off.


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