Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle

This is one of my favorite quotes. When researching it, it is often attributed to Plato or to Ian Mcclarin, a 19th century Scottish author and theologian. Whomever said it, understood the frailty of humanity and understood the need for empathy. So much goes on internally that people do not share with the world around them or are afraid to do so.

Picture taken from a Dolphin Tour on Hilton Head Island- August 2010

You can be suffering, even if you have a smile on your face. You can feel alone, even if you are in a room amongst friends. You can be depressed, even if your world to outsiders seems perfect. You can feel self conscious and ugly, even if you appear beautiful and well put together.

Appearances are tricky –

From the outside:

You don’t know who is grieving.

You don’t know whose marriage/relationship fell apart.

You don’t know who just got diagnosed with an illness or who is chronically ill.

You don’t know who has a disability.

You don’t know whose mental health is declining.

You don’t know who is coping with an addiction.

You don’t know who is in an abusive relationship.

You don’t know who lost their job.

You don’t know who is caring for an elderly or sick relative.

You don’t know who is having financial difficulties.

You don’t know whose child is suffering. After all, “you are only as happy as your least happy child.” I’m not sure who said that quote either, but this author definitely gets one of the many struggles of parenting.

From the outside, you don’t know who is falling apart.

This list could go on forever…

I was actually just being silly and dramatic in this picture.    (July 2005)

The first quote comes to mind after a week where two celebrities, who on the outside seemed to “have it all,” committed suicide. Money, fame, and success are not protective factors from suicide. They suffer like everybody else. And there are plenty of people suffering…

Depression is considered the common cold of mental illness. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 16.2 million adults had experienced a major depressive episode. This is 6.7 percent of the US population. However, it should not be treated like a cold. Depression, like all mental health illnesses, is tricky to treat. First off, you have to want help, seek it out, and accept it. That’s often the hardest part. There is no magic pill or happy pill, in this case, that will cure you. Medication works for some, but not all.

I have encountered Depression both personally and professionally. I have been fortunate to have dodged the proverbial bullet and have not had any of my students/clients commit suicide. I’m only 12 years into my career, so who knows what the future will bring? Many, who I have assessed for suicidality, have fortunately received the help they needed. That’s a win in my book.

I leave for work before dawn and often take photos of the sunrise through my car’s dirty windshield.   The featured photo at the top of this post is also from my morning commute.  It is pretty obvious how badly I need a carwash.  

I have so much more to say on this topic, but will stop here. To be continued….

Suicide hotline number :   1-800-273-8255

69 thoughts on “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle

  1. Yes! I agree. Even the strong one needs help.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well said!

    Like

  3. honorarycounsellormuser June 11, 2018 — 12:15 pm

    Love this post! You have a new follower 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. honorarycounsellormuser June 11, 2018 — 12:16 pm

      Just tried to follow but don’t see an option to follow…?

      Like

      1. Thank you for your comment and for reading! There should be a follow button at the end of the post. Or you can try on the bottom of your home page to enter your email.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I just followed you. You can try to follow me back! I look fwd to checking out your posts!! 😊

        Like

      3. honorarycounsellormuser June 11, 2018 — 12:37 pm

        I am following now 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow. You said it all.well done

    Like

  5. Dale Fermaglich June 11, 2018 — 3:19 pm

    Your writing is amazing and very true.

    Like

  6. You’re post was moving. You’re right… you never know someone’s situation. Also, just because someone is good at holding themselves together in public, doesn’t mean they aren’t struggling.

    Like

  7. Escape Writers June 11, 2018 — 4:06 pm

    Agree on this: There is no magic pill or happy pill. Staying calm and doing less comparison can helps a lot to fight against the great depression. Nobody is perfect, everyone has a sad story. What matters most is how we deal with pain in our life. As a good human being, we have to understand and never ever judge each other. Life is simple if we wanted to be like that.

    Like

  8. As someone who has battled depression (and anxiety) since childhood, I just wanted to express that I appreciate your post.

    Like

    1. Thank you! I am in the same boat as you. Both have been life long issues.

      Like

  9. Powerful post! My mental illness happened to be at its worse when I was losing a lot of weight. So many people were congratulating me on weight loss that they couldn’t see how much I was actually suffering. Just because they thought I look outwardly better, they made an assumption on my inner life.

    Like

    1. Thank you so much!!. That’s a great example about his appearances can be so deceiving. The outside does not often reflect the inside

      Like

  10. This is such an inspirational and beautifully written post! I’m a big advocate of kindness, I believe in it, I live it! Everyone truly is going through something and it costs us nothing to show kindness to all we meet. Thanks so much for sharing this!

    Like

    1. Thank you for your comments and being an advocate of kindness!!

      Like

  11. It’s a wonderful and powerful article. Very true everybody is fighting some kind of battle and comparison makes things worse. Kindness is the key to happy living and showing some love to humanity.

    Like

    1. Thank you! I agree kindness plays a huge role in happiness!

      Like

  12. You are so right about that, these days everyone is going through something.

    Like

  13. I stumbled upon this piece, thought to give it a read, and waited for the right action to arise!

    Well, you just got yourself a new follower! 🙂 Really like the way you weave through the topic. Look forward to more

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you stumbled upon my post! I will definitely be following up on this post in the near future. Thx for reading and following!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Nikhita Agarwal June 12, 2018 — 2:25 pm

    Worth the read..
    Everybody is fighting some battle we are unaware about.. just a few kind words can make someone’s day!

    Like

    1. Thanks for reading! I couldn’t agree with you more – kind words can make a huge difference in this world!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. This is so true! Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Truth. Everyone battles hardship at some time or another.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Appearance can indeed be very tricky(Looks can be deceiving). People see us smile and think all is well when sometimes it’s just a front. I couldn’t have said it better Lauren.

    Like

  18. In light of some tragic suicides that have happened in the past couple of weeks, these are such great reminders to keep in thought.

    Like

  19. I couldn’t agree more. I always lead my life showing kindness to everyone.

    Like

  20. Great post!! It’s so true, kindness is such a powerful tool that we all have the ability to use. Just like a smile it can be contagious and you never know how much it can impact someone’s day 😊

    Like

    1. Thanks!!! I agree with your thoughts on kindness. You said it so well!!

      Like

  21. Cannot agree more. With the recent celebrity suicides, people are paying attention to this issue.

    Like

  22. Simerbir Singh June 13, 2018 — 4:37 pm

    That’s true. It was really a good read.

    Like

  23. You are so right. Everyone is dealing with something. We should all be kind to others, no matter what. You never know what your smile can do for someone that’s going through something awful.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Simply Nerdy Mom June 14, 2018 — 1:25 am

    I’ve always lived by this rule as well because I am one of the people who use to always struggle with a lot of heavy things behind the scenes and put on a happy face for the crowd. I still am, in a way, but I’ve got better with it. I have also had the misfortune of losing loved ones who seemingly had it all to suicide. So I really live this motto daily.

    Like

    1. I’m so sorry for your losses. That must have been so hard to go through. Glad you are getting better with dealing with your struggles. It’s a work in progress for me, as well!

      Like

  25. Yep, this one is great … everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I’ve always tried to ascribe to this thinking, and now more than ever we see in society how true it is that we just don’t know the battles others are fighting.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. i totally agree with you that everyone is fighting its own battle. so it’s important that we are conscious and sensitive with people around us

    Liked by 1 person

  28. So true everyone has to fight their own battle and looks can ve deceptive. Thats why always be kind to others no matter how upset anyone is.

    Like

  29. familytalksweekly June 15, 2018 — 12:35 am

    Whenever someone I don’t know is rude to me (at the store or restaurant for example) I try to assume that they are having a bad day and not to judge them. I’m not great at this practice, but I try. Lord knows there have been so many times where I am rude and it’s because I have just been having a seriously bad day. Good post

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Thank you for posting this!! I, myself have struggled with these things. It was nice to read this post that there are people out there who understand what I go through. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Very true. Great topic to discuss and to get out there.

    Like

  32. Great post, i am just a nurse, and I can testify that many people out there are fighting battles.

    Like

    1. How can you say “just a nurse?” Nurses are so hardworking and knowledgeable! I’m sure you see a multitude of battles on a daily basis

      Like

      1. 🙏

        Liked by 1 person

  33. So, so, so true! We all wear a mask and rarely does anyone see through it because we’ve become such good actors by telling people we’re fine when they ask — over and over and over again. I lost a friend to suicide three years ago and I never saw it coming. I knew something wasn’t right, but I didn’t ask the hard questions like I should have. It blindsided me and my best friend, who was his wife, will never be the same. None of us who lost him will ever be the same because the effect ripples for lifetimes. Someone made a comment on a facebook thread when Kate Spade died that said: “All these rich people who don’t get help and they don’t need insurance!”
    — Did not sit well with me. We assume lots of things about people we know and those we don’t know, but the truth is, suicide and depression know no bounds and do not ever discriminate. Thank you for writing about something that needs much more attention. We should all be better to those around us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss. That must have been unbearably hard to go through. A comment like you mentioned wouldn’t sit well with me also! People are often close minded to understanding struggling has nothing to do with money or fame. Thank you for reading and your thoughtful comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  34. A thought provoking post…please write some more articles like this one..

    Liked by 1 person

  35. amayszingblogs June 16, 2018 — 1:29 am

    Very truth even that you are really strong you need someone to help you for everything specially for illness! great post! I like it!

    Liked by 1 person

  36. So true! Sometimes we forget that everyone has their own issues to deal with. Thank you for sharing!

    Love,
    Claudia
    https://thatsmeonline.net

    Liked by 1 person

  37. This is how I feel about social media. No one knows what’s really happening behind those happy photos. We also find ourselves constantly comparing ourselves without knowing what’s really going on .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh yes! Fake booking! I agree with you 100 percent!

      Like

  38. Beautiful! Indeed. We’re all fighting a different battle, but fighting none the less. 😊🙏🏽

    Liked by 1 person

  39. I love this post.
    As you said, you never know what battle anyone is fighting.
    I once quoted what my workmate had said to someone named R. My workmate had told me that she didn’t notice what I looked like for she just saw my smile. R was flabbergasted ‘can she not see the pain???’ Nope. She didn’t know I was suicidal at the time. For why would she? You never know what someone is facing.
    I bought that bangle for myself a while ago (my story isn’t over yet;).
    Love and light.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing this! I’m so glad your story is far from over! Mine as well…

      Like

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