Be kind. Everyone is fighting a battle.
I encounter these seven words regularly. They have been attributed to Socrates, Plato, and Plutarch. Once I heard them attributed to current celebrity Maria Shriver. Some reciters imply the words are their own.
Research reveals the originator as Rev. John Watson, a Scottish minister and author, who used the pseudonym Ian MacLaren.
Be pitiful, for every man is fighting a hard battleIan MacLaren, Zion’s Herald, January 26, 1898
This man beside us also has a hard fight with an unfavouring world… we are moved to deal kindly with him…Rev. John Watson, The Homely Virtues 1903
The sentiment is compelling. No wonder various forms of it have been repeated for over a century.
Along the way—as family and friends and even casual acquaintances shared their stories—I learned that most people are not fighting battles. They are fighting wars.
Have you recognized the fight for what it is?