There will always be cruelty in the world.
It will sometimes strike by hands, and in places we least expect it.
Yesterday, I found it on a Facebook post written in Chinese by a coworker.
She had written something nasty about me.
Thinking I’d never see it.
I hadn’t felt up to saying yes to an invitation to eat out.
I hadn’t promised that I would come, I had asked for information, so I could make the best choice and said thank you, and mentioned that I was grateful for her reaching out to me, but I wasn’t feeling up to it.
I had a list of reasons that could have filled up a page, but since they were mostly personal and I didn’t want to worry or bother her, I simply said I was busy.
My attempt to not offend her offended her.
As I read what she said about me…
I found myself shaking.
I felt stabbed.
I had been trying to win her sharp personality into friendliness…but the words shattered me.
I left the office, trying to hold back the tears, shaking.
The weeks leading up to this I’ve been balancing on a cultural tightrope as I prepare for my family to visit me, and the group that I am working for has very strict rules about things. So trying to please every group and focus on work and doing what I came here to do has been difficult. I’ve been on the edge of shattering several times as I play ambassador, advocate, and try to understand and communicate with both cultures, family, and a growing ladder of bosses to make sure things sail smoothly.
As I was trying to compose myself outside, I noticed the wife of a coworker at the gate and went to let her in.
She smiled and offered me the protection of her umbrella in the light sprinkle of rain.
I was like “I am okay….”
But she insisted so kindly, pulling me under the umbrella.
I was moved by her sweetness and kindness, in a moment of bleeding vulnerability, someone made sure they were kind, even though I would have been perfectly fine in the sprinkle.
As much as I didn’t want to cry, I ended up crying in my room, and my dorm mate who I’ve been having on and off relationships with, came and checked on me. She offered me comfort, and the next morning bought me breakfast, knowing that I hadn’t gotten out of bed until the last moment.
It is the kidness of others in a cruel world that sometimes make it change for the better and help you find the goodness in the world even when it’s the bleakest.