A few months ago, a blue port-a-potty took up residence across the street from me. It's distinguished by its bright blue color, which refuses to let you ignore it. It's distinguished by its pride of position on a little hill in an otherwise pristine woods. And, it's distinguished by being square in the middle of the view I have from my desk window.
I can gaze at it all day long. Alas, it's not cute.
It's not a little house from which Keebler Elves might pop out with fresh-baked cookies.
Thumbelina does not live there. Nor do Hansel and Gretel.
The most I might hope for is that a semi-attractive construction worker will pop in and out. But A) that hasn't happened and B) the knowledge of what they're doing in there would erase any charm from the moment, anyway.
So you're wondering why I'm thankful for this eyesore?
Like most moms, I spend a lot of time telling my kids to always believe the best about other people. Even when I'm mentally muttering to myself that some person is a malevolent witch out to get my kid, I don't tell my kid that.
And, what I've learned over the years, is that most people really do have a good reason for doing what they do. You may not know the reason, you may never find out. But if you do discover what motivated their seemingly bad behavior, more often than not, you'll find they had a reason that was rational and benign from their point of view.
The blue outhouse is a perfect example of something which might have irritated the heck out of me. Except for the pride my neighbor took in telling us he'd insisted they put the potty up by his house, instead of on the street. He didn't want it to be an eyesore that we'd have to look at all the time.
I had to laugh when it arrived and they placed it where it is perfectly framed by my desk window. But, every day, when I look out at it, I'm reminded of the fact that my neighbor tried to be considerate of us. That fact totally takes the sting out of the irritation. It reminds me that people usually are well-intentioned. And if you can believe that even when you don't have the facts, I'm convinced you will be a happier person.
And isn't that something to be grateful for?
On this day before Thanksgiving, I'd like to close with this quote from Plato.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.