Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I've Never Known Someone I Didn't Like

Pretty bold statement don't you think?

But take a minute and really think about it.  The people I don't like so well are the people that I don't understand.  The ones that I only see a tiny part of.  It just happens that that tiny part of them really annoys me sometimes.  Really annoys me.

But what if I had walked in their shoes?  Lived their life?  Been exposed to the same things they had?  Would I like me?  Would I have a better understanding of why they do the things they do.  Would it be easier for me to have compassion?  To not get frustrated?

What if I spent the day with them?  A couple of days even?  What would I think then. 

I knew Sandy when I lived in Granite City, Illinois.  Or as some would say "Granite Hell".  It was quite the place but it holds fond memories.  Sandy scared me.  At least she did at first.  She had quite the gruff exterior.  She had tattoos everywhere, she chain-smoked, she cursed up a storm. 

Then I got to know her more.  She had a sly smile that she tried to cover up. Sometimes it would just sneak out though, much like a child that tries so hard not to smile but just can't quite do the job.  She had a hard life.  She didn't know what compassion even looked like let alone how to give it.  No one had every really tried to understand her before.  She was abused by family members, as a 6-year old child she watched as her father took his own life.  She'd been in and out of prison, in and out of gangs, and in and out of relationships.  When I knew her she had cancer and AIDS.  She was in her 30s.

But oh how I loved her.  I didn't know that it was possible to love someone so much who wasn't part of my family.  I didn't know that it existed.  She taught me by being there, alive and somewhat willing to let me into her life.  To get to know her.  To care for her.  I will always be thankful for that.
Now don't get me wrong, I don't think we'd all be BFFs and live in a magical 'kum by ya" state just by getting to know one another better, but I do wonder if it would be easier to roll with the punches when they come.  Because they will come.  Sometimes we'll even throw a few ourselves and not even know it. But perhaps the tiny things that really annoy me wouldn't be quite as bad.  Not that they would change, but perhaps my perspective on it would. 

Just a thought.


  1. Thank you, Lora, this was awesome, you made me cry. It is so true and I need to do better :)

  2. Yeah. That. I need to be better...

  3. Ain't it the truth? (which for some reason I see a Looney Toons character saying it in my head. Not sure which one.)

  4. A good thought. A thought-provoking thought.