The “Befores” and the “Afters”
Before I begin, let me say that this very post was inspired by a couldn’t-be-kinder comment I recieved on Facebook yesterday after sharing my hospital experience. I was glad to read all of them!
For the sake of this post, I’ve termed people “Befores” and “Afters.” Befores are people who’ve known me before AND after I fought cancer. Afters are people who’ve only known me since I’ve been a cancer survivor.
People who fall in the Afters category are great if they take time to actually know who I am.
Truth be told, even now, sadly some Befores who “know” me don’t genuinely know me, although they (VERY incorrectly) assume they have me all figured out. These individuals fail to converse with me in meaningful discussions with an open mind and listen to educated and insightful thoughts of my own, which is not only tragic, but on their part, also totally pathetic. As a result, my challenges there are to:
- Not allow myself to get upset and frustrated at their lack of understanding
- Live out my faith in God and follow Him, in this frustrating area where people disrespect me, by forgiving such people (those who don’t know me but think they have me all figured out, and treat me like they’re better than me and I know nothing) and then go a step further to “kill ’em with kindness.” (Although the saving grace here is that just because you fully forgive someone in your heart, it doesn’t mean you are required in any way whatsoever to like or spend time with them.)
A large chunk of Befores are my former classmates. That is why I look back with increased fondness of my high school class of ’02, and hold a special place in my heart for these individuals. They’ve seen me before, during, and after cancer. They know I possess intelligence as well as skills like writing, and thus treat me as a worthwhile person. For those reasons I get a happy tingly feeling whenever I hear from any of them, either through email, in person, on a phone call, or posted to Facebook. Like every human being on this earth deserves, I’m acknowledged, supported, and respected by these incredible individuals. THANKS GUYS!!!!