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  • Writer's pictureStephen

Caution - Fragile!

I recently had a meeting at a coffee shop (not a surprise to many of you!), and I got my drink in a mug since I was staying at the store. After the meeting was over and I was taking my plates up to the dirty dish container, the mug slipped out of my hand and shattered on the cement floor! I was immediately the center of attention as I proceeded to pick up the broken pieces.  One of the things that struck me was how thick the ceramic actually was on the pieces. It was a pretty sturdy mug, but given the right set of circumstances, even the sturdiest of mugs shattered into tiny fragments.  Caution - Fragile!

I also got a phone call from a friend yesterday telling me about their mom being admitted to the ER for a possible stroke.  After running some tests, it appears it was a small TIA, but since the patient was elderly, they admitted them overnight and are continuing to run some follow up tests to make sure things are fine. While this kind of situation is not totally surprising, the timing of those phone calls is always a bit of a shock to the system, reminding me of just how tenuous life can be sometimes.  Caution - Fragile!

I was also listening to another friend recount a story in which they got the news of a loved one tragically passing away which required them to fly to the funeral. Of course, they were very upset the whole time they were on the plane, but a complete stranger offered them an immense kindness (which they haven't ever forgotten!), simply by giving them a pack of tissues without even saying a word. Caution - Fragile!

I've been thinking about all of these scenes, and it's reminded me just how fragile life can be at times. No matter how strong we are, under the right circumstances, anything can break. Is this "that" phone call? You may not know why I am distraught, but your kindness means the world to me!

Some of you know I have a small, part-time job at our local airport. We have these fragile stickers we can put on a person's luggage if they ask us to. I had a customer ask another coworker the other day, "Do those stickers actually make a difference?" to which my coworker replied, "They certainly make me pay attention more when I'm handling the bag."

Sometimes I wish there was a "Caution - Fragile!" sticker for life - times when you are just in a more tender place and you wish there was a way to let others know (without having to actually say anything), that it would be appreciated if they paid a little extra attention. I suppose I could buy a role of those stickers from the airport and just keep them with me, but if I was wearing one on the front of my shirt, I think people might just think I was weird! Instead, maybe I'll just try and remember that at any given moment lots of people around me may wish they were wearing one of those stickers. Maybe I will just try and give people the benefit of the doubt and proceed with Caution, because we are all pretty Fragile if we are honest!

Who do you know that is going through a hard time and could use a small gesture of kindness, maybe even without needing to say anything to them? Perhaps you are feeling extra fragile right now. Are there a few people you trust that you could share your story with who would help to support you with some extra kindness? 

Here's to remembering to proceed with Caution, because life is just Fragile!

Be Well,


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