Case in point...last weekend my husband and I went out for a bite to eat. We don't go out all that often, so when we do, we look forward to it being a fun and enjoyable experience.
All was going well until....(Ok this is where I must emphatically state: I love children...I think they are cute and precious beings.....I have two of my own....I know it can be challenging.)
Shrieking of a young one started behind us. First few times I thought....."it's got to stop soon"..."they hopefully were finishing up"...then I turned around to take a look.....cautious not to give the`ole "stink eye".....and realized "no" they were seated after us, the intermediate shrieking continued.
I found myself getting agitated and it was taking away from our outing. I thought "how could these parents remain here while their child disturbed everyone?" Granted we weren't fine dining in the least, but there still should be some sense of restaurant courtesy.
Forty minutes in, it hit me, clearly my sense of compassion and benefit of the doubt had been tossed out the window. Generally, to a fault as my youngest son says, I do in fact give people the benefit of the doubt until I know facts otherwise. I create scenarios in my head that would explain the behavior.
I started thinking...perhaps they were housebound, sick with the flu all week and finally felt they could go out briefly....or maybe the Mom had just returned from travelling for work and the Dad needed a break from making dinner and figured they would go out early before the restaurant got busy...after all it was only 5:15.
As soon as I reminded myself to look at it from another perspective, I found myself more tolerable and compassionate to what they possibly could be going through.
I think it is a good rule of thumb, to stop and consider, "we are never sure what is going on in other's lives, causing them to act the way they are."
I'm thinking there would be a whole lot more tolerance and harmonious living if we all showed a little compassion......even when we don't know for sure!