Through Kinder Eyes
"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."
That quote — or versions of it — is all over the Internet and attributed to anyone from Plato to Billie Holiday to Jeff Bridges. It first came my way years ago as part of a series of seemingly random things that floated into my world in a short period of time and changed me and the way I approach people and situations and life in general.
I was reminded of it the other day when a video called "Get Service" surfaced on Facebook. Produced by Fellowship Bible Church in, I believe, Little Rock, Ark., its message speaks to the core of what you do as fundraisers.
The main character is a frustrated commuter just trying to get his coffee and get to work, and everyone around him is getting on his last nerve. Then a stranger gives him a pair of glasses that allows the wearer to see lines of type under the face of each person he sees. They say things like "has never known true friendship," "grieving her best friend," "really needs a hug," "ran away from home three days ago" and "just wants someone to care," etc.
The point, of course, is that everyone has his or her own cross to bear, his or her own struggle, and that being mindful of that (whether you know the specifics or not) can change the way you interact with people. It can remind you to smile more or lend a hand, to be a little kinder or a little more patient. And it can prompt you to give, whether by tossing some coins in the kettle at Christmas time, writing a big check or including a favorite charity in your will.