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Isn't it pretty?

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

What You Don't Always See

You never really know what is flowing beneath the surface of a person. Which makes it really hard to be sensitive and not hurt others. This past week, I received an e-mail which, in responding to it, I couldn't hold back my tears. I tried several times to respond, found myself crying each time, and finally just had to type out an incomplete, not particularly eloquent response. The person who wrote me this e-mail had no idea it was going to elicit such a strong emotional response within me. I am sure that even now, having received my response to him, that he still has no idea what I went through to e-mail him back. It just happened that the topic he instigated is a very touchy one for me, and I couldn't help but feel pain at having to deal with it. I don't hold it against him, or feel that he is insensitive because of this. He had no way of knowing that the topic is one that is difficult for me to deal with. But it made me think about how so many interactions between people are probably misunderstood, and how so many grudges are probably initiated because one person had no idea what would trigger another. It is hard to not ever trigger these kind of emotional reactions in others, because you can't see what is not presented, and you have no way of knowing what is deep inside another. It makes me sad that I might have inadvertently caused such in others without any idea that it happened. It makes me want to think even more about the things I say, and what the potential response could possibly be. But you can't know everything. I guess the balance is to try to be as sensitive as possible with others. And give others some leeway when you feel hurt, because they can't possibly know what might cause it, nor do they instigate it intentionally. There is so much to people below the surface that you might never see.

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