Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Plato & Maclaren

Though this quote is incorrectly attributed to Plato, I still find it incredibly relevant.

"Be kind, for everyone you know is fighting a great battle." - Plato

It is widely believed that the Plato quote came from a legitimate quote by Ian Maclaren, which is "Be pitiful, for every man is fighting a hard battle."

No matter which version you prefer, you can't deny the resonating qualities they share. Over the last few weeks, I have come to know firsthand that the idea is quite beautiful, powerful, and overwhelmingly true. For days, whenever someone did the slightest thing that perturbed me or hurt my feelings, I just wanted to shout at them, Hey! Don't you know that I'm having a crappy day/week/life-situation and you're just making it worse?

I never did that, but I wanted to.

I try daily to remind myself of the quotes and the lesson behind them because when I wanted the world to understand, some parts of it didn't. I'd like to try and do my part to be kind, to loved ones and to strangers, because I don't know what's going on in their lives. As I'm sure we all know, resisting the urge to be a jerk is hard.

Whether or not it was consciously or unconsciously done, the meanness and insensitivity amplified my pain. So now, I'm aiming to lessen the negative impact that I have on those around me. It's been no easy road so far, but I'm trying.

Won't you try to?

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