The night before a trip with my family, we stayed at a hotel in a city near the cruise port. When we got up in the morning, we went down to the dining area for the continental breakfast. My father sat at the table on a chair with four wooden legs and a piece of padded vinyl as a cushion and one for a backrest. While eating breakfast, he must have made a sudden movement because a second later his chair collapsed beneath him.
Myself and several others jumped up quickly to check on him. As we were helping him off the floor, I moved another chair next to him to sit on. Other customers that helped kept asking him if he was okay. The hotel staff saw the aftermath of what happened and quickly removed every piece of the broken chair. Within seconds the room returned to a complete state of normalcy. All evidence of the event literally disappeared within thirty seconds, leaving my father scratching his head wondering if he made things up in his head, but nonetheless felt the effects on his rear end.
It turned out the only thing that hurt was his pride and he was fine. I suppose the hotel staff was fearful of any repercussions, so they acted quickly but made no apology. I doubt they knew the chair was at risk of collapsing or they would have likely replaced its sooner. The truth of the matter is the chair was likely the only one that knew the whole story. Only the chair could feel the pain it was having to endure. It may have been mistreated by someone leaning back on its two legs, forcing twice as much weight on those legs as it was designed for. Or it may have been put under a load it was never designed to support in the first place. I speculate that the legs were already loose, and it was only a matter of time before it would fail.
Every time someone plopped down hard on top of it, took it one step closer to breaking. It was only a matter of time. The chair may have thought that morning, if one more thing happens, I’m going to give in and snap under the pressure. I can feel it stirring within me. Will today be the day I finally break? But it was just a chair, lifeless and unable to feel pain. Today there are many people, of all ages that feel this way. They have withstood abuse, intentional or not, in many forms. Life has worn them out. They feel broke down, dejected, and ready to collapse under the weight of life. They feel as though life has dealt them more than they are able to bear. Like the chair, they are scared if one more thing gets added to them, they will lose control of their mind and emotions.
Sometimes this life is filled with cruelty, injustice, hate, suffering, and sorrow. Before you judge another person for the way they are acting, recognize that there is something at the root of why they are the way they are. We all have our days when enough is enough and we can’t take anymore. Rather than ignore or be harsh to them, consider extending grace to them. Show kindness and compassion to them. Your words and actions could be the glue that holds them together that day.