Everyone who’s reading this, I’m sure, has experienced some hurt in their lives. If it’s physical, it might be more visible, like a broken nose, limb, a person an a wheelchair. Some hurts, instead, aren’t visually noticeable. Even if a person is crying, we can’t  even know with confidence whether those are tears of sadness or tears of joy. Have you ever laughed so hard, a deep belly laugh, that made practically your whole face wet, until you, “Stop, stop, my stomach hurts!”

A gentleman may pass me by, smile, and I’ll say “Good morning!” He replies the same. But how do I know what’s really going on behind that smile, behind his easy-breezy response to me?

He may have lost a child. Maybe he lost his wife, or his mother, father, or another member of the family has just passed away. Why is he smiling? Perhaps he has a loving partner to help him through; the camaraderie of friendship, the real kind that is there in good times and challenging; or he escapes in reading and is just on his way to the bookstore when I pass him.

I’m not perfect. Sometimes in hard times, I get self-involved, believing (not wondering, not thinking) that no one else is suffering as much as me. It’s too easy for me to get self-indulgent, self-pitying, someone that might make a person yell, “Ah, get over yourself already!”

All this just to say it’s important to pay attention: we might not have the same skin color, perhaps some of us are thin and some portly; long hair, short hair, good teeth, bad teeth, more affluent, more impoverished, republican or democrat . . . We all bleed the same color.

Ciao,

Chris