The other morning, while riding down on the elevator (I am always amazed how much conversation can happen on an elevator ride), a woman who always has a happy countenance got on. To match her upbeat manner, whenever I see her I greet her with a hearty, “Good morning. It’s good to see you. You lift my spirits.”
This time she said to me that although she always tries to present a cheery face, “the tears come down anyway.” With her index fingers she touched her eyes and followed a path down her cheekbones toward her neck. At that point the elevator got to the lobby and we got off and went our separate ways.
As I walked away I carried with me the realization that so often behind our smiles and seemingly upbeat spirits there is a sadness and a disappointment, loneliness or loss.
To me this means we are wisest and most helpful when we show kindness and compassion to everybody. You never know how much of a tough battle other people are facing.