Anger is everywhere. I see it in grocery stores, traffic, doctor offices, elevators, soccer fields, and even church. People are tired, frustrated, over worked, under paid, and rushing to their next event on their busy calendar. Why can’t we just slow down?
Judgment of others is everywhere. We all do it. I try not to, but I do. I’m better than I used to be about this, but I still do it. Heck, I’m doing it now. I judge those who I perceive to be judging others too harshly. When I see the obviously angry lady in the checkout line, I think to myself, why are you so mad? Calm down. It’ll be okay. And in that sentiment is judgment. Maybe this angry lady was just informed that her child is using drugs, or has just been told she has tumor but doesn’t know yet if it’s cancer, or maybe her husband cheated on her, or she needs a new transmission. I don’t know. I wish I could help her. I wish I could just sit down with her for ten minutes, maybe understand what is going on in her world. Maybe I could help her find peace.
I am searching for peace. That’s an awfully difficult thing sometimes in this crazy world we have now, but it’s the most essential task I have before me. It is my journey. Through peace we find clearer thinking, better judgment, understanding of others, kindness and love. The road to these things always runs first through our becoming self-aware and in finding our own balance of our many roles. In years past, I did not even know what that meant.
I believe peace, self-awareness, and balance are essential for all of us to function as well as possible in our busy worlds. And that is certainly true for the trial lawyer. Through self-awareness comes genuine understanding of what is important in our lives. I suggest there are universal truths here – that what is truly important is the same for all of us, and that we are all connected through what is truly important. It’s not money, fancy cars, or big houses. It’s birthday parties, days on the lake, walks on the beach, rolling on the floor with babies, coffee with parents in the early morning, Saturday morning breakfasts and afternoon BBQs, and sitting on the porch during the rain. These things, and countless other activities that you might describe, are the gravy, the good stuff, the spice of life.
When debilitating injury, or even much more modest injury, touches a family, the “gravy” and “spice” suffer. Often times, these good times are completely taken from a family. A family is then left with a skeleton of their former life. The joy is drained away, smiles are rare if not forgotten entirely, happiness is a fading memory, and each family member is left instead with worry and stress. And to be sure, each family member suffers a different variety of the loss, but everyone suffers. True injury litigation starts with a keen appreciation of these undeniable realities. And this appreciation requires a level of compassion and understanding of the notion that some people perhaps can’t help but to be angry because of the circumstances in their lives and their failed journey to find their own peace.
But we must all try. It is our journey.