I met several people last week to review their Emotional Intelligence assessments. In my one-on-one meetings with them I like to ask questions about their lives and the events that have contributed to where they are today. One kind man I met is dealing with a grown daughter who has just come back home to live with them, along with his 13-year old granddaughter. His daughter is going through a divorce and she has lost custody of her two sons. The man explained to me that part of the reason for her divorce is related to her depression and her depression is related to the death of her first husband and two sons in a house fire years earlier, her daughter is her sole surviving child from that marriage. He said she remarried and had 2 more sons immediately and never fully mourned the loss of her first family. The whole thing was, naturally, taking quite a toll on him.
Another man I met said that on Mother's Day this year, he was home with his wife and kids and had a major heart attack. He collapsed and his wife gave him CPR while the children watched until help arrived. As he said, "She worked on me for 10 minutes until the ambulance arrived. She brought me back."
Meeting these men reminded me to not be so judgmental and have more respect for others. Everyone has a story, some can be incredibly moving and tragic. We all walk around with our own story of how we got where we are. If you have trouble connecting with someone else, ask about their story. It may give you some incredible insight.