Sitting near the back of the conference room, I found my eyes wandering often to the people in the room. Instead of focusing purely on the topic of regulatory compliance in the IT sector of banking, I found my mind wondering about the 68 attendees.
What is going on their lives right this moment—
Are they happy, sad, angry, depressed or joyful?
Are they or a loved one suffering from illness, grief or depression?
What or whom did they leave behind for a day and was that difficult or maybe joyous as they truly need a break?
Are they a victim or perpetrator of violence/abuse? Are they living close to or in poverty? Are they battling heart disease, cancer, anxiety, suicidal thoughts?
Are they actively listening to the speaker or are their minds racing—thinking of a million other things?
Do they sing, dance, play an instrument, cook—what are their talents?
Are they married, single, widowed, divorced; are they straight, gay, bi or unsure?
Are they living with faith, hope and love or dispair, grief, loss and fear?
Can they manage the chaos or are they being pulled in so many directions, they don’t know which end is up?
Are they one step away from a breakdown or snapping?
Are they relatively happy or ready to end their lives with the next thing that goes wrong?
I shake off these thoughts and begin listening again. It goes to show how little we know about those around us and emphasizes our need to be kind, compassionate and loving. We don’t know what anyone is fighting at any given moment.
Stop and say a prayer today for those around you in that moment. Love and prayer go a long way in this world—start the chain today.