If I’m not mistaken, it was Oscar Wilde who advocated the idea that life imitates art more than art imitates life. I’m sorry to say that his notion came to my mind after I realized–with no small degree of guilt–that my life today reminded me of a country music song.
Brad Paisley has a song he calls “One of Those Lives.” In this song, he recognizes that having “one of those days” is nothing compared to people who are experiencing “one of those lives.” His–and my–minor problems like traffic or missed appointments absolutely pale in comparison to the problems of people dealing with more significant issues. From his song, the line, “the doctors say the cancer’s back” gives you an idea of what he means.
This morning I was running late, but I got a text from a dear friend telling me she and her husband were on the way to the hospital with serious blood pressure issues. My tardiness wasn’t as big of an issue anymore. Later I was running around searching frantically for iPads to conduct a class when another friend with frightening medical issues came to my mind. Slow down, Tim, it’s not that big of a deal. I was wrapping up my school day telling a colleague about the behavior difficulties I had with a student, hoping for some advice or strategies to use during our next meeting. Not five minutes later I was approached by another colleague looking for advice concerning a former student who is going through some stuff way too heavy for someone who’s only 10 years old. Suddenly, the minor behavior issues I dealt with during my day faded away.
I’ve written before about a quote that Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers) is said to have carried in his wallet. The quote was of Mary Kownacki, who said, “There isn’t anyone you couldn’t love once you’ve heard their story.”
People all around us are carrying some heavy burdens. Let’s show some love.