Empathize and pity, likely. Like me, this morning, for example. I spent another few hours doing battle with two people who, combined, have half my body mass. (It really, really should not be so hard.) I finally get them into school and as I am walking out, there’s a woman bringing her children in the door.
Ok, granted, I have an immediate ego boost and moment of smugness because I’m not the absolute last person dragging kids in today. Even better, one of the children is on the floor on all floors hopping around and shouting, “Ribbit!’
The long-term implications are to make me feel infinitely better because I’m not always THAT family! Someone else got a turn today! Also, I realized the huge grin on my face and super-helpful door holding wasn’t out of pity or amusement at all. It was sheer empathy and gratitude that I was not her today.
Which, ultimately, casts all those tolerant smiles I’ve received over the years in a whole new light.
Grace and gratitude. Funny the places they find us if we’re willing to see.