Two weeks ago, my coworker was snappy and rude when she asked me to do something. Even though I was offended, I didn’t say anything back because confrontation at work is not really my thing. A few days later, she took back to back days off because her mom was sick. A few days after that, an email was sent to everyone from the president of our company saying that my coworker will be out for the rest of the week because her mom had passed away from lung cancer the day before.
My coworker is back in the office today. I barely got the words “I’m so sorry to hear about your mom” out of my mouth before tears started rolling down my cheeks. (I’m a sensitive one.) I found out in our conversation that she had known about her mom’s terminal condition for weeks but chose not to tell anyone at the company until the end because she needed work to be a place for her to escape. She didn’t want everyone checking up on her all day, every day because she was already getting so much of that at home. Totally understandable.
What I learned from this was that it’s important to forgive generously. Forgive that driver who cut you off this morning; forgive that server who messed up your order; forgive that sales clerk who had a bad attitude; and forgive that coworker who was rude to you… because you never know what they might be going through.