This post has nothing to do with cooking, baking, organizing or homeschooling, but it does have a lot to do with what has been on my mind over the past couple weeks. It has really been weighing on me and I feel like I should just put it out there for everyone to read. I kinda’ think that I’m not alone in my thoughts.

First, I’d like you to picture these scenes for just a moment:
1. A middle-aged man boarding a plane alone.
2. An older woman leaning on a gate and then getting into a car and driving off down the road.
3. A 30-something man picking up a five dollar pizza.
4. An older woman at the grocery store with just a few items in her cart.
5. A 16 year old boy walking down the street.

Okay, have you pictured each of those scenes? Maybe you even imagined someone you know. After all, it wouldn’t be that difficult because none of them are anything out of the ordinary. Now let me tell you a little more.

The middle-aged man boarding the plane alone. He was boarding a flight to fly across the country to bury his mother.

The older woman leaning on the gate and then getting into a car was the mother of a son who over-dosed. She was at his house to gather his clothes for his funeral and to take his car to her home.

The 30-something man picking up the five dollar pizza works over 50 hours a week just to barely pay his bills and only had $10 in his bank account, but all his children wanted was a pizza.

The older woman at the grocery store recently became a widow and has no income. She is picking up a few necessities with a few dollars that were graciously given to her.

The 16 year old boy walking down the street had to separate from his family because they were evicted from their home because they couldn’t make ends meet after a job loss and medical issues. His family is homeless and he needs to stay with a friend.

So what’s my point? My point is: We shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Cliche? Yes, but very true. We just never know what someone is going through because the truth is most people won’t tell you. We see snippets of peoples’ lives on social media and we assume that life is good. We don’t know their whole story. We think we know their story based on status updates and photos. We can’t see their broken hearts or their empty bank accounts.

I will tell you this: I know every single one of the people mentioned above. I know that their lives aren’t easy. I know, in several instances, they have encountered insensitive people. People who would rather pass judgment and think that they have all the answers and want to tell people how they should feel, how they should prioritize things in their lives, or how something is a result of their actions. No one chooses to be in certain situations – it’s called life. And it happens – not always as we plan. I know some will argue that some people put themselves in certain situations by the choices they have made, and while I agree it is true in some cases, it’s more important to recognize that someone may have made a poor choice – it doesn’t make them a bad person.

Here’s my advice. Be kind. Think before you speak (or type). Have some compassion. Be a friend. If you know someone is going through a hard time, don’t walk the other way or wait for them to call you — reach out. You just might make their day. And for all of you struggling in any way – be REAL. It’s hard. I know that… trust me. Have the courage to show the true you. It will make you feel better.

xoxo ♥ Denise