“Be kind! For everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about!”
Besides the fact that I have an extremely bubbly personality and I love smiling, this quote embodies why I practice the habit of being genuinely kind to others!
In my experience with getting to know other women and mentoring frequently, I’ve learned that not everyone you meet has had a “cookie cutter life”! I’ve sat in sister circles, lemon squeezes, and even had private conversations with young ladies who have had some incredibly unfortunate backgrounds. I’ve heard the stories of sexual assault and abuse during their childhoods, of their daily battles with depression and anxiety, and even of their fight to live through the loss of a loved one. In addition, I’ve heard their cries for help financially, learned about their physical and intellectual insecurities, witnessed their incapabilities to get over a man, and their pleas for better days! Seen it all and even lived some of it! The truth is we all have!
Each of us has a unique and sometimes untold story! It’s amazing how the same people we walk right passed each day have their own fight going on! Whether it’s her struggle with Crohn’s disease, Asthma, or Lupus! Whether it’s her love for excessive makeup in an attempt to mask her black eyes! Maybe it’s her obsession with over sexualization and experimenting with it! It could her addition to drugs or alcohol. Or maybe it’s her eczema or burn scars that she is embarrassed about and hides on a daily basis! She’s fighting too!
No one knows and no one may ever know!
For Colored Girls is one of the best movies at shedding light on this important point! In a movie consisting of about eight to ten main characters, that film did an amazing job of proving that we can know a person for years and still never know the things that happen to them out of our sight! The movie’s characters struggled with several of the issues mentioned earlier and the interesting thing was that the women ALL knew each other, but were clueless to one another’s life behind closed doors!
Imagine how many women you walk passed in the hallway at work, on campus your way to class, in church, and even those who are members of the same organizations and groups. Individually each of them has overcome things, is currently battling things, and will have things to fight in the future! EACH OF THESE WOMEN HAS HER OWN STORY! Many of which that will forever go untold…
Therefore, who are you to judge? Are you so worthy and so without problems that you can fix your lips to check someone? Can you deem her worthless? Can you criticize her? Can you isolate yourself from her, claiming her to be an outcast?
Matthew 7:1-5 reads, “1 Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (KJV)
How can we see all wrong in our sisters and none in ourselves? How can we call out her flaws and her insecurities if we haven’t fixed our own?
It’s time for us to decide to support other women! To pray for other women! To be there for other women! To genuinely LOVE other women!
If she’s battling insecurities, we should compliment her!
If she’s a depending on sex to make her feel worthy, we need to teach her her worth!
If she’s down in the dumps about bae who’s no good, we need to be there to pick her up, every time she falls!
If she’s “too independent” to ask for money, but she’s broke, we need to be there to lend her some money!
It is time to put ourselves in the shoes of each of our sisters and to understand and empathize with who she is and why! To learn what she’s been through and to help her overcome!
Time to judge her not, but to love her lots!
It is time for us to WALK A MILE in shoes other than those of our own…
By: Verinique D. Bailey, “The V. in Virtue”