I was at the playground with my kids this weekend (I spend a lot of time there!) and my daughter fell down and split her lip open. A pretty common occurrence, no? In these situations, I am surprising calm and collected, I can assess the situation and act quickly. I scooped up my daughter (dripping in blood...faces bleed A LOT), and asked my son to grab his ball and water bottle and come to the car with me.
As I laid my daughter down in the back of the car and wiped her face clean, all I could think about were the staring faces of all of the parents as I left, of all of the inaction I saw before my own eyes, of how nobody offered me a helping hand. I really didn't need help, but I wanted to feel a connection somehow, that another parent could say, "I've been there, this isn't easy, let me offer you some help."
An incident like that gets to me because I like to think of people as genuine and good, I like to think the best of people, and when I don't see that it makes me shake my head and wonder if I'm missing something. Maybe it makes me feel a little lonely, too.
When I think of it more, I realize that my disappointment comes from the fact that I actually had an expectation that even just one person would act with compassion. It is true that expectations lead to more suffering than necessary, and I need to let go of them, even the little ones.
Lately, I've been trying to live one day at a time, accepting each day for what it is, reminding myself that I am the master and the cause of my attitude, feelings, emotions and behavior.