In his book, that consists of a compilation of former blog posts, Tom Peters shares a quote from Plato.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.”
– Plato –
Peters shared this quote in the context of working relationships and customer service. It doesn’t matter if you are a supervisor, a lowly intern, or the CEO – we all have “stuff” that those around us may not know about. And, that stuff impacts how we respond to others, how we focus (or not) on our work each day, or on some of the decisions we make.
In fighting some of my own life battles lately, this has become more relevant. I can cry at the drop of a hat if the wrong trigger presents itself in any environment. But, no trigger = no crying. The cry is the release of the pain held in throughout those hours where it isn’t appropriate to share such emotions. But, sometimes it is because their comment really hurt.
And what of those I interact with? How do they feel? What battles do they fight? What despair do they feel?
Sometimes we say that “it is just business,” but business (like it or not) involves our hearts.
This is something that takes constant effort since each heart changes daily with the changes in our lives. My way of thinking is that I need to fill my mind with little reminders each day to remember others battles, triggers, and “stuff.”
Another quote about being kind comes from a little wooden frame given to me by a Sunday School teacher back when I was all but five years old. It’s of a little girl pouring milk for a little cat. The caption reads:
“A kindness is remembered, long after it is done.”
Kindness can be a positive trigger that helps us through out life battles … and sometimes it may still bring tears.