Today’s column is written by guest author Jennifer Erickson, licensed professional counselor.  This column originally appeared on Facebook and is reprinted here with permission of the author.

Be gentle with people today. That person who cut you off really could be en route to the hospital. The spouse who says “I can’t today” may really mean it for reasons neither of you fully understand. That jerk customer might have served our country and suffered a traumatic brain injury that affects his mood. The woman who seems bitchy at the grocery store may have been raped as a child.

It’s perfectly ok to avoid these people or to feel mad with the knowledge of exactly what they should or could be doing differently…. Just please remember they do not have your distance or clarity about their situation. Not yet anyway. In the spirit of them gaining insight and behaving better, please render a heartfelt prayer or thought – rather than a harsh judgment – as you walk by or away.

Sad likelihood: They really are doing the best they know how to right now. Happy thought: Your kind smile or wish may somehow nudge them closer to wanting help or gaining sensibility of some kind. Whatever compassionate vibe you can leave in the space between you is good hard work, I know. So on behalf of whomever you do it with, thank you. May it uplift you both.
Do you have something to say that fits in with the aim4wisdom theme?  Let me know!  And remember to add your shorter bits of wisdom to The Wisdom List!  Entries accepted until August 31st.  Winner announced early September.