I found an old journal of mine the other day. Reading through it was like reading through the thoughts of someone I didn't know. I was young when I wrote it and that is part of it- I saw immaturity in the way I viewed people and situations, but what struck me the most was how much I did not like people. I had unkind things to say about nearly everyone I met.
This isn't who I am now. It is easy to forget what once was. I wouldn't have ever said that I had been an unkind or mean person- but that is what I was. Thank God that is no more and that I am growing and changing. I will probably look back on today in ten years and not recognize myself. I hope that is the case. I want to be on a constant path of improvement as I get older.
On this journey I am on, I have a goal- be kind to everyone I meet. Be lavish with compliments and conservative with criticisms. It is much easier to do these things in person when you start in your mind and heart. It also helps to spend time with people who don't treat others badly.
I read a quote recently which I will probably butcher- but here is the gist of it. "People who judge me for my choices don't know the options I had to choose from." I know that I have been in a position even recently where people could not understand the reasoning behind decisions I have made. My hope is that when it comes down to things, people know me and know my heart and will trust my judgment without knowing all the details. But do I extend this grace to others? Not as much as I like. This thought has been ringing in my mind a lot recently whenever I am tempted to jump to judgment of a person or a situation. Another good one is "Be kinder than necessary- you never know the battle someone is fighting." (Of course the argument could be made that it is necessary to be as kind as possible always, but the sentiment remains the same).