We pass like strangers in the night. Our feet dance up and down stairs and across narrow halls, hurrying to get littles fed and tucked into their beds. We move methodically—quick, quick… slow—until the day’s loud chaos calms to a hush.
Then we make our way back downstairs, where the remnants of the day’s craziness silently greet us. Physically exhausted, my husband and I sit in the midst of it, a mess of tiny toys and preschool inventions surround us. Dirty dinner dishes between us.
Postponing the inevitable, we stare at the screens in our hands. We scroll and we scroll and we read. Recalling current events and some of the responses to it, we grieve. However, we’re unaware that the reasons for much of our grief are different. Instead of sharing polite nods in agreement, thoughts shared aloud become fodder for our growing frustrations. So we discuss and debate as if the weight of the world rests on our shoulders. The passion for our arguments flows like adrenaline.
Hours later, our energy wanes and we’re left exasperated—feeling the discussion is going nowhere.
Debates can be rough for me. I fight for the underdog, with each attack on their ideals internalized as an attack on them. I see humanness in everyone but my adversary. And it’s often escalated if that adversary is a member of my own family. The blood boils quicker. Patience runs thinner. Grace is withheld where others may receive it. I’m not sure why.
All I know is that seeing things from another perspective is hard when all we’ve ever known is our own, but empathy helps.
I wrote more about that in a post for GraceTable. You can check it out here.