There are physical misfortunes in life we all face — accidents, illness, and physical injury that we most often respond to with organized support systems. But there are misfortunes that pull people down in deep discouragement, sometimes more damaging than physical factors—people who are misunderstood, maligned; whose motives are misjudged. There are those whose friends fail them; those who’s loved ones prove faithless. There are those whose words and manner are misunderstood by those they live and work with, and there are those whose humor is misunderstood—a humor that was not meant to hurt. Sometimes family and friends walk away from those they are pledged to support and love. Sometimes we are the cause of this damage.
Sometimes we speak without thinking and find the effect to be altogether not what we would have truly wanted. And sometimes, there are clashes of personality, or pride, or simply differences of approach that prevent even loved ones from understanding each other. Oh, how we wish sometimes we hadn’t said some things, and hadn’t done some things—that we hadn’t given thoughtless hurt to someone, or even some slight.
We are not, any of us, always as we ought to be, or all we could be. We often live by trial and error, and there is no perfection in any one of us. And no matter what physical comforts we have, or what success we have attained, these will not make life happy when we recognize what could have been if we had reached out to lift the lives we touch. If only we had been more kind and considerate of the feelings of others. If only we had made an effort to understand and appreciate and encourage others, and help to lift their lives and to heal whatever wounded their soul. Life would have rewarded kindness more surely than other rewards without it.
Life rarely goes exactly according to plan for anyone, and we are very aware that the life we experience does not match neither our capabilities nor our knowledge how to respond best. Still, it is still important to understand, and reach toward, the pattern of principles we know are based on immutable truths, and strive for the realization of that pattern the best we can.
Strive toward perfection in at least this one way now—by offending not in word, or more positively put, by acting with a new commitment to do no harm.