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Love Them Anyway

I’ve always liked the idea that you can love everyone once you know their story. It’s a nice concept if you think about it. Take, for example, that person that stands for everything you go against. They drive you absolutely crazy. Every time they open their mouth to speak you find yourself getting irrationally annoyed. I know you know someone like this. Think of the most frustrating person you know.

Now what if you knew their story? What if you knew why they behaved the way they did…why they said the things they did…why they believed the things they did? Would it change your mind about them? Would you have a little more understanding? A little more patience?

That’s how the idea came about and that’s why I stuck to it so fiercely. You can love anybody once you know their story.

Well a few days ago as I was working on something else, I thought of this concept once more. What if you don’t know their story?

What if you can’t get to know them? What if they remain this aloof and obnoxious character in your mind? What if you don’t understand?

Love them anyway.

Every single person you will walk past today is going through something incredibly tragic. Every single person you will walk past today is going through something terrifically beautiful. Someone is having the best day of their life. Someone is at their breaking point. Someone just landed their dream job. Someone has no idea what their future holds. One of them is getting married tomorrow. One is trying to figure out how to leave an abusive relationship. This one’s sister just had a baby. This one’s sister was just arrested.

Every single person you will walk past today has a tangled mix of life happening in their head at every moment. Stories you couldn’t even begin to uncover. Stories you may not be able to even comprehend.

And given the chance to unravel them, you may realize you had more in common then you thought. You might find that peace of mind that connects two seemingly polarizing people. And once you know someone it becomes incredibly easy to love. Once you begin to pick away at that knot in their head, you may be able to understand.

But if you don’t, I repeat the sentiment: love them anyway.

You will never get the chance to understand every difficult person you encounter. You will never be able to learn the life stories of every person with which you interact. But I’m telling you to love them anyway for that very reason…because you don’t understand.

You don’t know what their life has been. You don’t know what happened on that phone call they just received or how a certain trigger may affect them. You know nothing of their life and of their stories and of their memories and then in that case who are you to judge? Who are you to think you know enough to condemn them? Who are you to hate what you do not understand?

©2020 THE SMILE PROJECT