I was trying to work out how many trips I've done this year, and including one holiday the grand total is thirteen, so Heathrow Terminal 5 has become rather a familiar place to be. Although the travel itself can get a little tedious, I am an avid people watcher. There are plenty of people watching opportunities at the airport. You see it all here and I find it fascinating. It's a good thing that I do find people fascinating considering connecting and engaging with individuals and companies is what I do, day in and day out. It's very busy today, but when isn't it? People travelling for all sorts of reasons, all with their own story playing out like a movie. Some moving about with speed and concern others wandering aimlessly, as if they have hours to kill. I watch them, creating stories and worlds for these people I have never met and will never see again.
As I do a quote springs into my mind ‘everyone you meet is fighting their own battle, be kind, always’.
I start to think about how as humans we judge others. It is an innate part of who we are, and however unconsciously we do it, we all do judge someone the first moment we see them. As I watch the people around me, some running to their gates, dragging wheelie bags that contain their lives while others battle with tired toddlers not wanting to be strapped into their buggies, I think to myself how everyone has their own story, a story I know nothing about, so who am I to judge?
I think back to a time I was in the supermarket and my youngest daughter was having a tantrum. Most parents have been there haven’t they? That moment where you want the world to swallow you up and for those around you to stop staring unapprovingly and whispering with the ‘I feel sorry for that Mum, she obviously can’t control her child’ tone. I felt useless and totally unable to deal with the situation because I worried too much about those people I didn’t know, the other shoppers deciding to pass judgement on me. I guess it depends how resilient and strong you are feeling on the day, and that day I was feel far from super mum, or even just ‘coping mum’. I remember it even now because it had an impact on me. It taught me something, and the quote above says it. ‘Everyone you meet is fighting their own battle, be kind, always’.
We all have our own model of the world and make choices and decisions based on how we see things. Just because it is not necessarily how we would choose to do something, does not mean it is wrong, just different.
As the man rushing for his flight catches my leg with his wheelie bag, or the over excited four year old runs into me, I have a choice. I can judge them for their actions, both of which were unintentional, or I can let it go, step back and be kind. In my model of the world, it doesn’t serve me to judge them in a negative way. What do I gain from doing so? Absolutely nothing, so I choose to take a breath and be kind.