I have a couple roads I walk when getting my exercise. One in particular passes a small, country cemetery. Today I noticed a new grave. It made me pause and think. The young woman who is buried there died last week. I say young woman because she was four years younger then me. I did not know her, nor know how she passed. All I could think about was the fact that I was walking to be more healthy and her family was mourning because she was no longer alive. Ya’ just never know what is happening in people’s lives – what are they dealing with? Who in their world is in danger or ill? What are they having to make a decision about that could be pressing heavily on their soul? So many things we just don’t know, can’t know, yet could impact how we interact with people. 

I kept walking and thought about the people I interact with in my world – the store clerks, the mail person, the service providers, the friends and family I see or don’t see, the people I pass each day. All of these individuals have an entire life I know very little about. They have problems, hopes, dreams, ideas, pain points that impact who they are and how they live each day. And I am oblivious because I live life wrapped up in my own world. I am grappling with all the elements of my own world and working to make sense of everything in my own space…which leaves little time to think about what is happening to someone else. 

Then you see this. They you see the grave marker for someone younger then yourself. Only a heart of stone would not pause to think. Ya’ just never know what may be next for you to handle. Ya’ just never know the emotions behind your neighbor’s friendly wave. Ya’ just never know what life issue people are dealing with…and they have no clue what you are managing in your own world. As I walked past this grave on my way home, I thought about the family of this woman and how they must be feeling after having laid her to rest in this spot. I said a silent prayer for their peace and pain, and I said words of thanks for the people in my own life who are alive and well. None of us are promised tomorrow. We plan as if we know, and we never really know.  My final words of silence to myself were to be grateful, be kind, dream big, act, and demonstrate compassion to everyone you meet….ya’ just never know.