One Never Knows

You never can tell exactly what’s going on, can you?

A blogger at our local newspaper, Kristi Gustafson Barlette, recently wrote about an odd encounter she had with a woman at a local ice cream joint. The woman engaged her in conversation that grew progressively strange, culminating with the lady offering up a taste of her ice cream.

Several commenters pointed out that there may have been more to this incident than just the rambling of an intrusive old woman — that there may have been something causing her to act that way. Naturally, most other commenters were much less forgiving.

In my EMT class, we learned how medical conditions and physical or developmental disabilities may influence behavior. Drugs – prescription or otherwise – and alcohol are also common culprits.

This understanding doesn’t make the person less annoying, but it may instruct us on how we react.

The older I get, the more willing I am to consider that someone’s actions and behavior may be the result of something I know nothing about. A million things cause people to be the way they are, and often it’s simply the sum of their life experience. Hell, sometimes it’s just because they slept poorly.   Take a moment before you judge. It’s not easy, but you’ll be a better person for it.

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