A bit of empathy now and then.

On a good day, I hope to be as kind to all others as often possible, and am far more conscious of the benefits of being pleasant to random others than I was when I was younger.

So, when I am out and about and (probably, unfairly) make judgements about people, I often have to stop and remind myself that almost everyone has some sort of struggle. There are those who, quite clearly, bear a lot of responsibility for their own problems, but, at the end of the day, “there, but for the grace of God, go I”.

This doesn’t mean that I would make the same choices as a lot of people, because I think that I have a bit more grit than most (or I’m delusional). What I do mean is that I’ve been luckier than most and that I should cut others some slack.

The mass media and social media make it clear that there are a lot of other lucky folk out there who aren’t particularly nice. (Witness the attitudes to and treatment of, in my country, at least, of non-Caucasians who “dare” to speak out against the status quo or attempt to flee persecution from war zones that my country has helped create.) Anyone who has been born into a situation that has led to them being able to actually voice their opinion, particularly on social media, is, by world standards, very lucky indeed.

If we followed the lead of the Dalai Lama, and many others, who see us all as worthwhile human beings who don’t have the same access to choices in life, maybe we’d make a lot of other people a bit happier and be a bit happier in ourselves.

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