it's no secret that in life certain things define you. no matter how strong you are, some things can have more of an affect on you then others. the saying is the older you are the wiser you get... and i believe that that comes from the experiences you have had along the way.
there are a lot of things that have shaped the person i am today. some of them are good, such as the amazing family and support system i have, my incredible childhood memories, or my rich travel experience. others are a little tougher to get over, like the heartbreak i have felt, the sadness that is in my heart from losing my friend, or the surgery i went through and had to recover from four years ago.
this past sunday all sororities and fraternities on my campus had to go to a lecture about hazing. there is not much that i related to, since i have never experience some of the unimaginable hazing rituals that the speaker talked about during the lecture. but one thing did stick with me. the speaker asked everyone in the room to raise their hand's to certain questions. then she asked questions such as how many of you have been or know someone who has been sexually assaulted or how many of you have or know someone who has struggled with depression. these were incredible personal questions, but almost everyone raised their hand for every single question. and it was an amazing experience.
the point of this exercise was that you can't haze people, not only because it's wrong, but because you never know what memories of a past experience the hazing ritual will trigger. and in regards to everyday life, this is completely right.
you can't judge someone off the bat. you can't automatically assume you know someone or what someone is going through without actually knowing them.
things throughout our lives define who we are today. the ordinary person on the street would never know any of these things.
without knowing me, you would probably never know i struggled with depression when i was younger. just like you would never know if a stranger had been raped, victimized, or assaulted.
that's why i treat everyone with respect. our stories are personal.... but they define us. and who are we to judge without knowing what they are.