Why is it that we give the best of ourselves to those we hardly know?
We go out to the store and hold the door for a stranger. We say excuse me when you want to get by someone in the isle. We shovel the sidewalk for our elderly neighbor. We listen to our co-worker's problems they are having at home. We say please and thank you to the waitress as she brings our dinner. We share the last helping of salad with the woman behind us in the dinner line at church.
I'm not saying we need to stop all these wonderful acts of kindness. I am asking, however, why do we stop when we walk into our own house? Our loved ones get what's left over at the end of each tiring day. They get the door shut in their face when walking in the house. They get pushed out of the way when we are trying to cook dinner. They get the sidewalk left to shovel themselves. They sit quiet on the couch, stewing about something that happened at work, wanting someone to talk to. There are no please and thank you's while dinner is being served. We quickly swipe the last bit of chicken before anyone else has a chance.
This might not all happen every day in your house, it doesn't happen every day in mine. But I'll be honest, it all has happened from time to time - probably more than I even notice. How sad is that? Shouldn't those we love the most get the best of us, not the worst - the left-overs?
Why do we do that? Is it because we "know" they will always forgive us for acting shamefully? DO we know? Will they always forgive us? Is this why divorce is so prominent in this country?
Can you imagine what your household would be like if we all treated each other with a little more kindness? I challenge you (and myself) to treat those you love the most more like strangers!