You just never know

So there I sat in the middle of Kings Cross Station, London waiting for my train home.

Although I was surrounded by people I had never felt more alone.

Earlier that day, just after 7.00 a.m., I had spoken by phone with my brother who had told me that Mum had passed away.  Somehow I found the strength to get through my work that day, put on my ‘Game Face’ and did what needed to be done.

Twelve hours after the phone call the train arrived at Newark Northgate.  My wife was waiting for me and as I walked along the platform the emotions I’d kept in all day finally came out.

In that period of time only a handful of people in the whole world knew what was really happening in my little world.  No one knew what I was experiencing – not the hotel staff, the receptionist at the training venue, the delegates, the lady I bought my hot chocolate from at the station, the train staff or the countless other people I passed by that December day – no one.

We never really, truly know what is going on in the lives of the people that we deal with day in, day out.  We don’t appreciate the pain, the problems or the challenges they may be working through because, like me that day, they may not choose to show it.  It doesn’t mean it’s not there.

My point is this – I like to think I treat people well, that I show them courtesy and kindness, BUT I also know that there are times I could do better and try much harder.

This year I am going to make an extra special effort with everyone I meet to be a bit nicer, a bit kinder, a bit more patient, a bit more forgiving and a lot less judgemental because we never really know what’s going on in their world.