Ok, so maybe not EVERYONE else in the world is an idiot. But a lot are.

Back when my mom was ill, we had a lot of family time together. My fam has never been super tight-knit (in terms of family vacations and Sunday dinners and phone calls) even though we are small, but we know how to come together to support each other when needed. And when we were faced with the worst, Anth came up with our family motto: We (Merle Clan) Kick Ass. Not to sound pretentious, but we really are an amazing group of individuals who hold the name Merle. And we have Charlie and Anne-Marie and their parents to thank for that.

So whenever Anth and I are complaining about the idiots in our lives, he is quick to remind me that most other people did not have our upbringing and loving and connected parents and, parents who kick ass. And these idiots just don’t know any better because they were never taught or shown or moulded, so it really can’t be all their fault.

I used to be quick to judge others when I felt they were making poor decisions or chose to react in certain ways. But now that I have realized that I was once in a spot that I was doing the best that I could with where I was in my grief journey, and this reminder that idiots sometimes can’t help that they are idiots, I have much more empathy for others than I did before. Some people are just doing the best they can for where they are in whatever they are in.

This new found patience usually comes into play when someone hurts me. Before, I would analyze and try to alter the situation and take it so much to heart that it crushed me. But now, even though I still feel the pain, it’s a different pain. It’s more a pain of loss – wishing that things could be different but they aren’t. And that the person who is making the decisions to hurt me (directly or indirectly), just doesn’t know how to make better choices. And even if they DO know how to make different choices and still choose to be an asshole, they have experienced something in life to make them be that asshole. And I can have pity on them. And feel sorry for them, but then that’s it. I move on. Maybe I cut them out. Maybe I just disengage. Maybe they are just the chick at Second Cup who had a bad attitude and I will never see them again.

But instead of holding onto anger and resentment towards them, I remind myself that not everyone is a Merle, and they can’t help it that they are an idiot.