There are times in life when you realize it’s better to be lucky than it is to be good. It’s an old axiom, an old adage, an old “thing,” but it still rings true.
People speak of having high pain tolerances and everyone listening initially thinks “physical” pain tolerance. There are pain tolerances that span far beyond physical pain. There is emotional pain. There is the pain that comes with loss, which can span both physical, emotional, and all things mental other than emotional.
Emotions speak to our non-rational minds. And, emotions have a mind of their own. Emotions are what happen when you’re doing your job and suddenly, you lose focus and the old girlfriend you used to love pops into your brain. Or, the old boyfriend, if you’re so inclined.
Most of the time, we’re just drifting through life; we’re waiting for something to happen. Neil Young once sang, “Good times are comin’, but they’re sure comin’ slow.” Good times can’t seem to happen to us fast enough. When they do, we just go, “Ok, when’s the next good time?”
We really only have five good minutes to spare. Even then, if we’re doing something like public speaking, five minutes intended to be good at the onset of the presentation, suddenly seem like an eternity and quickly deteriorate into 90 seconds of quality at best. I suppose this is what’s relative.
I would suggest that being homeless is one of the most scary things that can happen to a person. Most of us with a roof over our heads take our homes for granted. You don’t have to be homeless to be thankful for a roof over your head. Yes, it does create understanding if you’ve ever been homeless for any length of time. We may know someone who is presently homeless. Or, someone who has become homeless at one time or another. While we can be empathic, if we, ourselves have been homeless, it is not a requirement to understand the nature of the condition. We should be thankful for our lack of homelessness no matter.
Homelessness eats away at hope. If we lose hope, unlike losing faith, it is a testament to our very will, or lack thereof, to survive. To have hope is to remain positive. To have hope is to think one day we will realize better days. To be bereft of hope is the equivalent of giving up on life itself.
One of the best qualities a person can have is being kind. If you’re kind, at times you forsake telling the truth in order to spare someone’s feelings. This can get in the way, for instance, of something like giving an annual review to your charges. If a supervisor is to be objective, they have to discard their kindness temporarily in favor of brutal honesty, especially when it comes to the cohesiveness of a team tasked with the output of a particular product or service. At the end of the day, not everyone makes the grade, even those who are kind.
While kindness is most probably not used frequently during the compilation of annual performance reviews, it should be practiced on a daily basis in our everyday lives. If you’re going to attempt kindness for the first time, however, I would counsel you to be as genuine as possible. People can recognize phoniness disguised as kindness. If you are a phony with respect to kindness, you are left open to all manner of scrutiny and criticism on other fronts. People just won’t trust a phony at any point once they are recognized as non-genuine.
And finally, I’ll leave you with loneliness and all the things it presents in the form of acting out. Loneliness forces people to endure life by themselves. For most, or at least, many, it is unbearable.
If it is healthy to be able to be alone for some times, it is not something that bodes well for one’s long-term health if they are lonely for large stretches of their lives.
All of us may not crave interaction more often than not. And the ability to share with others is often key to our longevity. We don’t stand a chance at happiness, however, if we are alone more often than not. Our brains may be underutilized, but our bodies display the damage when we are forced to make do on our own for most of the time.
We don’t know what others are suffering. Be kind, be empathic, give someone the benefit of the doubt. Make an effort to engage those who would not be engaged. You might save someone’s life.