Those darn little spiders just keep spinning webs on my deck chairs., so I have to keep on cleaning them off. A couple of weeks ago, I was outside checking the chairs, when I found some of the webs on the seats. I thought I would quickly grab the hose and spray them off. WRONG!!!
They looked so wispy - so thin - so fragile; surely a forceful stream of water should break it down. But it didn't. I had to go and get a rag and use the water (repeatedly) and rag to thoroughly destroy the web. It was in that moment that I thought how the fragile looking web reminded me of people.
At times in my life, I may have misjudged people as fragile. I'm not proud of my nature to judge., and if I were self-actualized and completely self-managing, I would never judge, but I am not. So, I have made choices on what to share or ask or do based on how strong someone seemed to me. I have assumed they couldn't handle "it", whatever "it" happened to be.
Many times I have made an error in judgment though. I have a friend who has proved me wrong. When I first met her, I thought she seemed like she couldn't handle anything too tough - like she might break down if she ever had anything very hard to handle - someone who might have led the life of a protected princess where everything went the right way. I would not ask her to help with things that I needed help with. I held back on feedback. I never wanted to have any conflict with her. I was protecting her because I thought she couldn't handle it. I thought that when I first met her, but then as time passed and I grew to know more about her life experiences, I realized how wrong I was. As it turns out, she is one of the strongest people I have ever met. Her back story is nothing short of movie quality. I like to think I am strong and that I have lived through some tough times, but I am not at all sure how I would have handled her life. My gut tells me that I might have cracked like a piece of glass and shattered into a hundred pieces. Not her! She just keeps it all quietly inside herself and keeps moving forward in a quiet, unassuming, almost invisible way.
How like this spider web she is. Lovely, fine, wispy - seemingly fragile - but oh so strong.
TAKEAWAY: We never know what others have experienced or what they are dealing with. They might really appreciate having someone see them as the strong, extraordinary people they are!