A picture is worth a thousand missing words

I feel so connected to people. I see their snaps on Facebook and Instagram. The smiling faces of momentous occasions. The pictures of a crowning achievement—a graduation, baby born, race run or a cake baked. Brave souls show the messes. The kids with mismatched clothes throwing a temper tantrum in Target. Piles of laundry unfolded and not sorted. Dinner burned or scorned and replaced with a dreaded Happy Meal. I meet people in Target and they know things about me and in turn, I know things about them. And we assume we know so much more because we’re privy to this little portrait on social media.

But those pictures, those status updates, they’re a glimpse into a moment. And you know how I love moments. Moments carry us from minutes to hours, from days to years.. And sometimes one little moment is worth a thousand missing words. The picture of the perfectly iced cake leaves out the tears that fell into the frosting or the reason all she could do was bake a cake to lose herself in a world of sugar. The medal around the neck earned while escaping the demons he was running from to begin with. There’s a lot behind the closed doors of our lives that eludes the 140 characters in a tweet. The smiling faces we meet at the grocery store carry stories—stories of pain and equally of happiness.

Why on this day—this last day of school, this Friday the 13th and the day of a full honey moon—am I thinking of all of this? Because I’m thinking about how important it is to be kind. To share a smile with a room filled with people you know well and others you know well virtually. Because these lives we intersect with are  filled with missed chances, broken hearts, twinkling eyes, loves lost and found, things that can barely standing the test of time, much happiness and a tiny bit of despair, first world problems and things that are heavy and hard in every world. And when you smile know that you might not always really know exactly where the other person is on this great continuum of this thing we call life.

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