Everyone you meet is a broken person.

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Everyone has baggage.

See, people start off as whole human beings, before all the cracks start to appear. For some, their first crack is when they’re born, the circumstances into which they are born or the condition they are born in. They start early and the fates decide how much more damage they’ll take- maybe life will be easy for them. Maybe not.

Sometime they are lucky enough to get through most of their lives without being damaged, although I think living a completely safe life is a form of damage in itself.

Things like loss, like death, they happen to everyone. Everyone dies. If you have family, they will die. If you have friends, they will die too. You will not go through life unharmed by natural occurrences. You’ll be damn lucky to go through life unharmed by unnatural occurrences. To date, I’ve not met anyone who has been untouched.

The longer you live, the more people you meet, the more damaged they will be. Life is long and many things happen in it. You might meet a 14 year old who is more troubled than a 50 year old. Age has nothing to do with experience, although it does have an impact on maturity. The longer you live, the more you get to feel, to see, to encounter, and the more you’ll recognise in other people. You’ll see cracks in them that mirror the cracks in you. You’ll feel their pain- or you’ll be repulsed by it. Your reactions are up to you.

You may ultimately be more hurt by life than anyone else you meet.

You may be more whole and complete. It will not feel that way, even if you can see it yourself. All of life is subjective, nothing can ever be objective. It’s just not how these things work.

You might never get to see what parts of a person are hurt. You might never know the things that get them down or make them angry or keep them awake at night, and it’s not your place. You should feel as honoured to know what hurts them as what pleases them. No one has a duty to interact with other human beings who probably will not understand, but they do anyway.

We reach out regardless of what we carry with us. Some more than others, some less. No matter what you think, or how your past has treated you, it is always a risk.

How you treat people is up to you. You don’t have to be kindly, just as you don’t have to be cruel. There’s no black and white in our reality, whether you like it or not.

Just remember, everyone is damaged. Everyone was once a whole person.

No one goes through life unscathed.

Perhaps… You should treat them accordingly.

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2 responses »

  1. Reading your post my mind instantly thought of a song dealing with the same subject. Jotted down some of the verses below.

    “All my favorite people are broken
    Believe me
    My heart should know

    Some prayers are better left unspoken
    I just wanna hold you
    And let the rest go

    All my friends are part saint and part sinner
    We lean on each other
    Try to rise above

    We’re not afraid to admit we’re all still beginners
    We’re all late bloomers
    When it comes to love

    All my favorite people are broken
    Believe me
    My heart should know”

    by Over the Rhine

  2. “Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All of these things have come upon them through ignorance of real good and ill… I can neither be harmed by any of them, for no man will involve me in wrong, nor can I be angry with my kinsman or hate him; for we have come into the world to work together…”

    – Marcus Aurelius, the Stoic Emperor

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