“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about… Be kind always.”
Working with teenagers for over three decades has provided many opportunities to understand that the smile on a person’s face often masks the fears and worries that they carry around with them. And this is indeed true for all of us.
We become weighed down by situations that are many times beyond our control. Whether it involves family or friends, job or school, health or grief, they become burdens that we carry on our shoulders throughout our days. Some people are more private and do not openly share their cares with others. They struggle to get through their ‘public-day’ at work or school without letting on what is going on in their heart and their mind.
I had a wonderful retired priest who heard confessions and celebrated Mass one year for my juniors at Msgr. O’Dwyer Retreat House. He always told them:
Never forget the three most important rules in life:
1. Be kind.
2. Be kind.
3. Be kind.
Easy to remember, those three rules will stay with us if we are sensitive to others and the cares that may be weighing them down.
Everyone has a story: Be ready to listen…
Give us your strength, Lord.
Because sometimes things get tough, and we are ready to quit.
Give us your love, Lord.
Because sometimes people reject us, and we are tempted to hate.
Gives us your eyes, Lord.
Because sometimes life gets dark, and we lose our way.
Give us your courage, Lord.
Because often we are put under pressure and it’s hard to do what’s right.
Give us yourself, Lord.
Because our hearts were made for you, and we will not rest until we rest in you.
Prayer by Mark Link, S.J.