All of us are compassionate about obstacles that announce themselves: Disfigurements, wheelchairs, canes, oxygen tanks…
It is the invisible ones—minor speech impediments, addictions, family secrets, mental and emotional disorders, etc.—that we desperately try to conceal.
Silently, we bear the impact of uninvited obstacles.
When younger, we may consider these unique crosses ordained to make us stronger. When older, we realize how hard life is anyway, and just wish they would go away.
In few cases are people purposely unfair. Criticism is often more about us than them.
We may adjudge harsh verdicts for those who do not fulfill our suppositions—especially if it denies us tangible or intangible benefits.
Obstacles make achieving our expectations difficult enough—without worrying about others’ superficial perceptions.
So, before denigrating, let’s bite our tongue and breathe deeply. Then, become cognizant of those concealing struggles with what we take for granted.
For the battle-hardened survivors of invisible obstacles, just being here may be a triumph. Holster your judgment and salute their accomplishment.
The unenlightened words you replace with buoying ones could keep them afloat.
Someday you may need them to return the favor.