Discuss the meaning of the following Ian Maclaren quote: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighing a great battle."
This quote means that we are all the same when it comes to life. We are all here for the first-and only-time. We are all here to make mistakes, to try and overcome obstacles, to learn as we go, and to succumb to whatever weaknesses our imperfect bodies fall under.
Think of the people that you work or study with. Once the front door of their homes is closed, you do not know what goes on inside. The faces of people hide their thoughts, ideas, fears, emotions, and weaknesses. The fact remains: We all have them. Hence, perhaps there is a good reason why the person who sits across from you is not the nicest person. There is hurt, death, pain, and need amongst all of us. Why add harshness to life?
I would agree with this quote. It is very much like the idea that you should not judge someone until you walk a mile in their shoes. In this sense, this quote is essentially the same as the major theme of To Kill a Mockingbird.
I do think that this is a quote that is worth using as a guide to the way we live. It is a quote that encourages us to treat others with compassion and to understand that other people have problems that weigh on them just as much as ours weigh on us.
I like this quote. I think that it speaks to the idea that we do not really know what personal demons exist in the hearts and minds of everyone else. It might be best to presume that everyone has their own battles to wage. In fighting these battles of which we would not be a part of according to the quote, it is best to give kindness to these individuals. Every warrior is entitled to a level of respect. The McLaren quote brings to light that each person is their own emotional warrior, a psychological gladiator who deserves a level of merit or respect for the battles they wage. The quote can be taken to mean that there are subterranean forces which everyone battles in their own way. The best thing we can do as outsiders to such battles is to "be kind" so that we do not get in their way and encumber them in their own struggles. In adding to their struggles, these emotional warriors may turn on us and with such ferocity and magnitude, the exact nature of response could be uncertain and unknown. In this, the quote is enabling individuals to maintain a certain distance, but be respectful and "kind" in the process.