It might be a happy story. It might be a sad story. Most likely it is a real story with both weighing heavily into it... one with adventure, hard decisions, disappointments and great joy. At least I can hope so.
I remember sitting to have a drink with many a passenger on ships and listening to their stories. The clientele, as you know, can be quite a bit older... which means the depth of their stories were even greater. It never ceased to amaze me the things the human spirit can endure and even better, persevere through.
I used to do the "Renewal of Vows" ceremony on board with the captains. I always asked the couples renewing what their secret to a long and happy marriage was. Many of you know that my favorite three answers were:
1. Fight naked.
If when you feel a fight coming on you get naked... you are more likely to get to the makeup portion of the show and you're less likely to say something really hurtful when you are standing there in your all together and lovely.
2. Say only half of what you want to.
How many times have you gotten into a fight and said one thing to many?
3. Give 80... expect 20.
If both parties are always giving 80 and expecting 20 then both are always pleasantly surprised. I go so far as to say both parties give 100 and expect 0. :-)
I have been so blessed to have so many wonderful memories in my short 40 years. Each memory is a snapshot in my brain with a story to go along with it. Sometimes I need to remind myself to stop taking ACTUAL pictures and take the mental ones instead. Those are the ones we carry with us during our darkest moments. It's those memories you can call on that make us who and what we are.
That's why when you look at that woman in the grocery store that is lugging three children, two of which are screaming, you should give her a little grace... she may just be trying to get it all done. Or that person that just cut you off in the left hand lane, speeding in and out of traffic... they may just be having a moment where they want to feel in control of something and the car is it at that time. It might just be someone who has completely zoned out and isn't thinking. Or it might be that they are self involved and not thinking of anyone else but themselves at that moment. But even they have their story.
EVERY single person you meet has a story and you can learn something from each and every one of them.... how cool is that? :-)