When someone shares too-private information on Instagram in the search for likes. When someone does any kind of dance on TikTok.
When someone excitedly joins a multi-level marketing scheme. When someone swears they’re turning over a new leaf for the sixth time in as many years.
When someone acts like they’re the first person to discover the arguments for atheism. When someone falls down a conspiracy-theory rabbit hole.
When someone marries a red-flag-waving trainwreck. When someone breaks up with a partner who’s perfect for them.
When someone responds to a small setback with tears or rage.
At such times, it’s hard not to cringe, slap your forehead, and wonder, “Geez, why would they do that?!”
At such times, when your cynicism about humanity deepens and your desire to stay connected to loved ones slackens, there’s a mantra — worth regularly repeating — that will help you cultivate greater patience and empathy for others (and more compassion for your own history of cringeworthy moments too).
“Everyone’s just trying to make it in the world.”
Everyone’s born naked and ignorant and never given an entire guidebook to what lies ahead.
Everyone’s seeking to get their needs met without always knowing how to go about it.
Everyone’s yearning to be liked, recognized, and desired.
Everyone’s struggling to accept that no one will ever love them as much as they love themselves.
Everyone’s harboring some childhood insecurity.
Everyone’s worried they’re exactly as uncool as they imagine themselves to be while staring at the ceiling at night.
Everyone’s starving for significance and hungry for joy.
Everyone’s creating hedges against the fear that it’s all meaningless.
Everyone’s striving to make it count while protecting a heart that’s tenderer than they’ll ever let on.
Everyone’s looking for home.
Everyone’s in need of a little grace.
Everyone’s just trying to make it in the world.