It’s hard for anyone to step easily into another person’s shoes and truly understand their perspective. I have learned this lesson often, sometimes painfully.
Witness on Social Media
I recently witnessed someone else learning the “until it happened to me” lesson the hard way.
I don’t love the Nextdoor app. It has its purpose, and I clearly understand that. However, there are trolls who like to be mean on there. Neighbors are supposed to use the app to help each other by offering public notices, sharing referrals for contractors and other helpful hands, and asking questions.
However, some people stretch beyond the boundaries of what it is for, probably because they are used to other social media platforms where you share everything.
One thing you often see on Nextdoor are people sharing information about a bad experience with a contractor, electrician, handyman, or other types of business to warn off neighbors from getting scammed.
A few weeks ago, a woman posted something on Nextdoor that I found funny and delightful. She said she used to be irritated and disgusted by people posting these messages bashing companies who had done them wrong. Then she said, “Until it happened to me.” She then launched into a long rant about a bad experience where a contractor had collected a large deposit from her and never returned. She lost a lot of money, so now talking about it and sharing that information meant something to her. Before that, she couldn’t stand that kind of behavior. Now she was okay with it because it was happening to her.
Until It Happened to Me: A Great Lesson to Learn
There is a great lesson in this story. Before we all jump on our high horses and declare that we are better than someone else (or think it), we should stop a minute and consider this. We could be that person next week, next year, or even tomorrow. You never know what the future holds.
Just because we cannot understand how someone else thinks or acts doesn’t mean it isn’t valid and meaningful to them. That same experience or something like it could happen to us anytime, and then we will finally “get it.”
I am guilty of this myself. Frequently, I am irritated by posts I see on Nextdoor. But this experience will help me slow down and keep an open mind. I could be just like that person at some point. I need to remind myself that just because someone thinks or lives differently than me, it doesn’t mean I am better than they are or they are worse. We are just different.
Every person has a right to be, live, and express themselves however they need to. Let’s all try a little more compassion, love, and acceptance of one another.