One thing I try to teach my students is how to make connections between literature we read and life experiences.
-A few weeks ago, each of my children received a pinewood derby kit. The contents of each package were exactly the same. However, the end results looked so very different from one another.
-Some of my students are currently reading The Outsiders (a great read). One of the messages in the book is that despite the fact that people may have apparent differences we are all cut from the same mold. We all struggle, and we all seek love and support.
-Today during a meeting, a crying mother shared her concerns about her son based on the tragedy her family had experienced, and I sat there trying to maintain my professionalism. One look directly into my eyes would have given away that I was on the brink of tears. I have not lived their scenario, but I could feel it just the same.
These short, separate snippets are, at the core, the same.
We all face the challenges of the human condition.
When we judge the mother responding poorly to her child out of frustration, the person who smells of body odor and old cigarettes, the girl who clearly spent two hours getting ready to go out, the person who cut us off on the road, or the couple that can’t stop fighting, we judge ourselves.
We look at those around us, and we see the ways we are not the same. We see what we wish could be, or we see what we are glad we are not. We make our quick judgments, and we often fail to see the person.
When we fail to see the humanity in others, we fail to understand ourselves because we are, at the core, the same.