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Jenn in Lawrenceville, NJ.
 
Old enough to have some perspective on how I’ve lived my life and young enough to change what I don’t like.  
 
I am surrounded by animals: fish, snakes, cats…and I run a pet-sitting business. Love horror and suspense movies.

Everyday Compassion
Everyone has a past. Everyone has skeletons and an imperfect childhood. Everyone has wounds, and everyone has tragedies in his or her life.  Instead of our immediate, harsh responses – admonishing, yelling, and such – what if we take a minute to ask what could be that person’s motivation?  
 
What if “that jerk” cut you off on the highway because he’s late getting to the office, this is his third time, and he’s about to lose his job?  What if he’s late because his kid was crying hysterically and it took him several minutes to muster the strength to pass the kid off and run out the door?  
 
Now he’s not a jerk, right?  Now he is human.  Now he has done something that maybe – just maybe – you or your spouse or your best friend might do.
 
The store clerk who can barely make eye contact, much less ask how you are doing and thank you for your purchase?  Who sighs when you ask whether something is on sale, because it rang up higher than you expected?  Maybe she doesn’t think you’re asking too much.  Maybe she doesn’t want you drawn and quartered. Could it be that she has a migraine?  Or that her dog just died and she has to work late and pretend she’s enjoying herself when really she wants to go hide in the bathroom and cry?
 
I’m still working on this skill.  Actually, I’d call it an art, because it requires some creativity and a LOT of self-reflection.  What would make ME do that annoying thing that THAT PERSON just did?  It takes practice, but I think you’ll find that once you get past the initial “how DARE they?”, it is actually better for your own well-being than the alternative.

-Jenn 

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