What follows is a short presentation I gave this week to a group of teenagers. Perhaps spurned on by the sight of too many hand held devices, or my own tendency to rush through conversation, these words came to mind that I wanted to share.
I’d like to start with a quote that I can’t attribute to an author, but one which has been on my mind recently.
Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.
There’s no question, most of us live a hurried, fast-forward, know anything you want because of the Internet and a device we always carry with us… life. We often play the catch-up game without stopping to think about why we’re catching up, or what matters, or what’s important.
You should know that it doesn’t matter if you are short or tall; skinny or not; blond, red or dark haired; clean or dirty; shy or extroverted; athletic or clumsy; full of energy or super relaxed; a hiker or a swimmer; a scholar whose grades some easily or someone who has a tough time doing well in school.
You need to know that you are not unliked, you are not unloved, you are not forgotten, and you are not unwanted.
It is crucial that you recognize that you are liked, you are loved, you are thought of, you play an important part in others’ lives, you will have adventures within the next five years you can’t even imagine right now, and somewhere out there is your future spouse, who wonders what you look like.
But what if you weren’t?
What if you weren’t cared for, weren’t loved and weren’t thought much of? What if you weren’t a part of people’s lives or weren’t a person we are fortunate to know?
How would you feel?
I ask this because there are people around you that feel this exact way. Perhaps at home, at school, in a Scout troop, at your church, or on your sports team.
So I’m asking you to please return the care shown you to those around you.
Be kind… Be helpful
By doing something unexpected for your family; by saying a kind word; by listening to someone who isn’t often heard; or by taking the time to sit and talk… instead of rushing off.
Your kindness might just mean more to that person than you’ll ever know or can begin to imagine.
So what matters? What’s important to us?
Again… please take to heart the quote I started tonight with…
Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.