“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle”

2011/01/20 § 13 Comments

Was reading a book and came across this quote from Plato that struck me – “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.”

The backdrop to all my dining out posts is that I’ve been on sabbatical and have taken the opportunity to meet and catch up with friends from different stages of my life – usually over brunch, lunch or dinner.  Was able to reconnect with friends from grade school, high school, college, graduate schools, the province, the cities and everywhere else.

We talked.  Swapped stories.  Mostly good ones.  Shared laughter and memories of old times.  When life was so much simpler.  Like everyone, I tell them how I’ve gone through problems and  felt oppressed by it.   How through the dark days, I’ve made a conscious effort to look at the bright side and cherish all the little things and big things that life offers me.  Periodically though, I looked at others and think how much better their lives must be.  I get frustrated.  And get angry at myself and at the world.

But, if there is anything this time in my life has taught me, after much talking and hours of catching up with everyone – it is to make the most of what I have.  And to be kind.  To be kind.  For everyone else is fighting a great battle.  Even those who we all think have perfect lives.

I learned that for every friend I have who is worried about not having a job, I have another one who hates his job.  For every one who is having financial and monetary problems, there are others who are thoroughly unhappy with their riches.  Or at least, whose riches do not make up for their present unhappiness.  While there are others who are frantically trying to find someone to be with, to love, there are others very unhappy in their marriages and who feel unloved even within the confines of their marriage.  There are those trying very hard to conceive and have children, while others are burdened by the responsibilities of their children.  I have friends who are at the top of their careers but who wish desperately to have the freedom and the time of those without one.  And while there are others worried about their wrinkles and bulges, there are more who are stricken with cancer and other illness.

We walk around the city and deal with people, our problems at the back of our minds.  We look at others and are stung by envy and become judgmental.  Sometimes we are so self-absorbed we only think of ourselves and become curt or mean.  And yet, when one has the chance to talk to people, one realizes that they all have their own problems.  So when I feel like being inconsiderate or wanting to drown in envy or being meanspirited – I should always remember the stories I’ve heard during this sabbatical.  How life is a great battle for everyone.  How we all have burdens to carry.  And how other people’s kindness have been a great balm to my own sorrows.  How touching it was to receive support from unexpected quarters.

So  I’ll remember.  To be kind.  To be a soft landing ground.  For everyone.  Who is fighting a great battle.


{Images courtesy of Haute Design, The Sartorialist, This is Glamorous}


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§ 13 Responses to “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle”

  • gloriadelia says:

    Oh, I’ve enjoyed your blog! Beautiful pictures of yummy food (sometimes not so yummy :/ , but still interesting to look at).

    I’m definitely coming back for more. Bon appetit’!

    p.s. love the quote!

    • Hi Gloria! Thanks for dropping by. Happy to know you enjoy my blog. Yes, some of the food might be strange to others. Ha ha. Am checking your blog now and it’s healthy! Will be reading your posts and hopefully will help me get back on track to a healthier lifestyle 😀

  • tarcs says:

    I came to your site after following a series of links from a food blog I regularly follow. I’m glad I did. What a wonderful post and a great reminder about what’s important in life.

  • yixiao says:

    that’s a really awesome quote.

  • wherewander says:

    Some time ago, in the other page I used to blog (now I have closed that account) I wrote a related piece. There I said that behind each smile, or a nice gesture, or a cheerful comment, there was a story that we didn´t know, that it´s not all it´s cracked up to be and I gave three examples, mine was the last one.
    And I got all type of responses,but basically, everybody told me what was behind their smile.
    It´s good to know that there are more people who notice.

    • Hi Ellen! It was pretty amazing to hear all the stories, especially the contrast in the situations. While others were thoroughly hating their jobs, even when at the peak of their careers, the very same ones who left the track and chose to lead “quality” lives were wishing they didn’t and wanting the titles, etc. The problems/dissatisfaction were so varied. It really makes you look at your own situation and choose to be grateful for some things while working hard to change the things you don’t want…

      • wherewander says:

        it´s true … it´s really a learning experience, from others, from you yourself. I do value what I have and try to focus on that … we human beings are very complex :))

  • ro11it says:

    remember this, youre a legend! haha, your posts are genius, and extremely relatable. I like the way you write, and youre right, everyone is fighting their own battles, ive been thinking alot about this kind of stuff recently, and i feel that battles which arent confronted in your mind will definitely come out in some physical way, so yes i agree, be kind! but be defiant in any battle and all will be well 🙂 so i hope!

  • Kristin says:

    Hi, thanks for sharing this wonderful composition. How you observed the world and people… =) It’s so heartwarming…

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