Is it alright to talk about others? Do you think it’s OK to tell tales about people? When you begin talking about another is there a way to do it with love and kindness even when they have injured you? When I am wounded or slighted, I usually seek support from loved ones by telling my story. It’s not usually just the facts. It’s usually about my emotional reactions. Most of us need to seek comfort from others when we have a difficult experience. We need to tell our story but we get to choose how we tell it. Do we tear down and berate the other or do we do it with kindness and gentleness, even towards our enemies?
I belong to a gym that has a huge senior population. When I was there this week, there was a new plaque on an easel and I stopped to check it out. It was a photo of a plane from WWII with a huge hole in the right wing. Framed with it was a thank you from one of the members, Hal Shook, for the service of the people who work at our gym and an award, The Legion of Honor, that he received in 2011 more than sixty years after the end of the war. He had sent it to the facility as a token of his gratitude. After I viewed the framed presentation I found myself wondering about all those people I usually see there. I began to wonder about what I’ve been missing by not getting to know some of these individuals. I am sure this gentleman is not the only hero that’s walking around that gym. I wonder if I were to see him, what sort of judgment would I form? I would not have even guessed at his honorary past. Why then should I judge at all? My job is simply to observe.