Two people dear to me have just lost a mother or a father, and what occurs to me is how neither one is the type to wear their sorrow on their sleeve. Which means if you didn’t know them, you would never know their worlds have just been radically altered, and that underneath their smiles they are missing someone terribly.
I bring this up because what’s true for them is true for us, and true for every person we meet. Each of us is carrying something — a sorrow, a guilt, an irreplaceable loss — something. We might not know what that something is, and we don’t have to.
The point is, if we keep in mind that everyone is carrying a heavy load — from the co-worker next to us to the guy on the freeway — we’ll not only be kinder than necessary, we’ll find it impossible to be anything less.