I think it’s absolutely amazing how differently wired we all are. Our tolerances, values, weaknesses, strengths… everyone is 100% unique. And even when we relate to one another on a large scale, we still harbor vast differences on small details.
It’s fascinating and empowering and isolating and frustrating- but it’s life. And I believe that life takes all kinds of kinds to work.
My mom has a heart for other people. She is so patient with older folks and weak or sick people. She can both correct and calm a child all at once. (She’s a first grade teacher.) None of those things come naturally to me.
On our recent flight there was a young guy who was drunk as a skunk sitting behind me. He even said so- plus a few f-words. An older women- who had a seat in the “extra leg room aisle”- whom I only know as Stella, swapped seats with his original seat partner to allow that woman a seat next to her husband. I don’t think Stella knew this guy was drunk before she swapped, but she made conversation with him the whole time and even did a crossword with him. She essentially babysat him. When the flight attendant told Stella that she owed her a drink Stella laughed and said, “Oh I don’t drink.” I later heard her talk about leaving the airport quickly so she could get to church on time. I am convinced Stella IS a saint. All the travelers around this unlikely pair showered Stella in compliments once the flight was over and Drunk Skunk was out of earshot. Again, I don’t have it in me to do that. Not even a little bit.
My compassion runs deep for animals. I have compassion for humans, but it doesn’t come as naturally. And I think that’s ok because it takes all kinds of compassion to make a difference. I will pull my car over every single time to help a lost dog find his or her way home.
Emotions effect us differently, too. I am strongly controlled by fear. Some people can brush it off or enjoy the adrenaline rush, but it paralyses me. That said, panic is not something that affects me strongly. I remain scarily calm in high stress situations (like the car accident I helped with 2 weeks ago). Everyone is different and THANK GOD that we are.
I have 0 tolerance for violence. I can’t watch it. I can’t stand any entertainment to include rape or assault. I used to love Law & Order: SVU but just last week K was telling me about a show he watched and he mentioned a rape scene and I wanted to throw up. I don’t condemn people who watch shows or movies like that because I know there’s more good entertainment then bad, but I don’t have the ability to get through it or enjoy it.
I’ve seen the quotes about not judging other because we don’t know what they’ve been through or what kind of day they’re having or what lies below the tip of their iceberg. And I completely agree with that.
But it’s important to remember that we all process and handle our situations differently. We experience the exact same event differently than the person standing next to us. We process different amounts & different feelings, and we’re affected in completely different ways. And that’s so amazing, but also a tough lesson to remember.
It’s an important lesson, though. And I think it also helps us to accept ourselves (and our loved ones) in a clearer light. We don’t have to love, like, care about, etc. what everyone else does. And we can be affected different by our emotions (fear, sadness, anger, disappointment) and know that there is nothing wrong with us.
It takes all kinds of kinds to navigate and survive this world. And your kind is just the right kind.