"I learned a lot from the stories my uncle, aunts, and grandparents told me: that no one is perfect but most people are good; that people can't be judged only by their worst or weakest moments; that harsh judgments can make hypocrites of us all; that a lot of life is just showing up and hanging on; that laughter is often the best, and sometimes the only response to pain. Perhaps most important I learned that everyone has a story - of dreams and nightmares, hope and heartache, love and loss, courage and fear, sacrifice and selfishness."
- Bill Clinton, My Life
This quote is so poignant that my eyes well up every time I read it. I was reminded of the lesson recently when I brought my car in to be serviced. I got to talking with the woman behind the counter. She was asking me questions about diet and exercise. She told me that when she was diagnosed with cancer the doctors had to administer a drug to boost her hemoglobin in order to handle the effects of chemotherapy. It caused her to gain 40 pounds. She said it's been hard on her psyche because she has always been slender until now.
She was brave and optimistic - putting one foot in front of the other each day. You never know what someone has gone through or might be dealing with. Compassion is our greatest gift. Give it to others... and give it to yourself.