I like word pictures. I like analogies. (Kevin likes metaphors.) I think it's all the same way of saying - we like words.
I just heard a good word picture on the radio this week that I am going to shamelessly steal and use as my own. (It was said by some former basketball star of the olden days. Whatever.)
The idea was this . . . everyone has baggage that follows them around, baggage that they are carrying from the past - hurts, wounds, preconceptions, ideals, opinions - the stuff that makes us say what we say and do what we do. Our explanations, if you will. The guy on the radio called these little red wagons. And everyone is pulling one.
When we meet people we sometimes forget that they have a history outside of us. And that history affects how they live and it will affect how they treat us and how they respond to us. And when we forget that each person comes to us pulling a little red wagon, we begin to take everything personally. We begin to believe their reactions are about us. All about us. When they usually are not.
So we stand there and let someone else's old baggage hurt us, offend us, wound us - when it was never really about us to begin with. It was their little red wagon, not ours.
I decided two things while listening to this. One, I plan to use this analogy to help explain to my kids why people do and say hurtful things sometimes. And two, I don't really want to keep allowing other people's little red wagons to so dramatically affect me.