Have you ever been treated unfairly or looked down on by people around you? Have you felt alone, trying your hardest, but still struggling to make ends meet? It can be so easy to allow all the challenges of life to overwhelm you and make you feel defeated. I know this struggle all too well as a single woman with two children. As much as we tell ourselves not to care what other people think, and to press on despite the resistance, it’s hard…and the people around us can make it better or so much harder.
The other night, I took my two children, and my daughter’s two friends, to a baseball game. I realize now that this wasn’t something I should have done without the assistance of another adult, but I went for it. I got the kids food and then we searched for our seats. Now, imagine how stressed I was, pushing a stroller through a packed stadium, while trying to make sure I didn’t lose three little girls.
We found our seats and the girls ate their food. Within 10 minutes, they were asking to go to the bathroom. A few minutes prior, I had noticed that one of my tickets was for a seat in a different row. I was confused because the lady at the ticket booth clearly saw that I was by myself with 4 children. Why in the world would I separate from them? So I decided to go back to the ticket booth after I took the girls to the bathroom. The issue was resolved and I took the girls to sit in our new seats, but I needed to go back and get my son’s stroller and our drinks.
I came back to the seats and saw an elderly man sitting in that one seat. My son’s stroller was knocked over, which confused me a little. I looked at the man and said, “Excuse me, I need to grab those drinks.” Without warning, he lashes out, “Why did you put them there in the first place? Why were you sitting here? Show me your tickets.” I was shocked, and couldn’t understand how these seats could be important enough to be so rude and condescending towards a young woman with a baby in her arms. I explained myself more than he deserved and I walked away feeling defeated. As I struggled to get my son’s stroller up the stairs, a man sitting a few rows back stopped me and asked if I needed help. He carried the stroller and said, “Sorry about that. Hang in there, mom.” I thanked him and walked away with tears in my eyes.
One Act of Kindness
So many thoughts went through my mind when this man was scowling me. Was it a race thing? Was it a sexist thing? Was it a single mom thing? I tried to make sense of why, over something so silly, this man decided to speak to me from his high-horse, as if I were unworthy. Within seconds, I felt like less of a person. It’s incredible, the power that words can have if we allow them to. But just as incredible, is the power one act of kindness can have to turn a bad situation around.
With one act of kindness, I instantly felt relief. My mind was automatically focused on the good, rather than the bad that just occurred. And I challenge you to be that person for someone today. To help rather than hurt. To love rather than lose an opportunity to be kind.
You Have No Idea
When we choose to be hateful towards someone, we’re truly saying, “I don’t care what you’re going through. This is how I feel. You don’t matter.” I understand that everyone has their own life and things to worry about. We might not have time to get the life story of everyone we encounter, but we can make the choice to be kind regardless. We all have bad days; no one is perfect. There are days where you just don’t feel kind. But it becomes a problem when we use that negativity to intentionally hurt someone. In moments when you’re feeling not-so-kind, I challenge you to try anyways, or keep it to yourself if you really just can’t find it in you to be friendly. It may not be your issue but you have no idea what people are going through, and one hurtful moment could change things for someone in a drastic way.
Hang In There, Mom
To the man who apologized for someone else’s wrong, I’m grateful that God sent you. You made a difference. You had no idea what I was dealing with, but in the moment, you chose to be kind anyways. I appreciate the people in my life who are like this man. Those who step in when they see someone struggling. Who love when it’s not easy. Who pray for the hurting. Whose intentions are to make a difference to better the lives of those around them.
To my mom friends, remember that there are people in the world like this. I know you try to do it all. You feel a responsibility to be superwoman and show no weakness. You don’t want to ask for help or look like you don’t have it all together. But honey, you must know that you are not alone. You are not perfect, and neither I am. Neither is she. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to breakdown and need a shoulder to cry on. Cry out to God; He hears you (Psalm 18:6). He will send help (Isaiah 41:10). Hang in there, mom.
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