Last Friday, I spent the day playing blackjack at Mohegan Sun. I don’t generally visit a casino during the week, but I made an exception because of who I was going to spend time with during the day.
I met one of my closest friends and his family at Mohegan Sun. We were lucky enough to get a table to ourselves, and we had a great time catching up and playing blackjack for a few hours. The visit was somewhat bittersweet though. My friend’s dad has been battling pancreatic cancer since March. I have known my friend’s dad for many years, and I rode the Pan-Mass Challenge this year in his honor. He is a fighter, and he is battling courageously.
On my ride back home, I thought about something I want to share with you. Although it is my friend’s dad who is battling cancer, my friend’s mom is deeply involved in his care and is always looking out for his well being. I can’t even imagine the stress she must be under on a daily basis. My friend and his sister (and their spouses) are also making extra visits on the weekends and taking lots of time to see their dad and ensure their kids get to spend quality time with their grandfather. I know they think about their dad all the time, and it is taking a toll on their families. Fortunately, they have supportive spouses, but I imagine it is difficult for them. One person in the immediate family has cancer, but 5 people are deeply impacted by it.
Just about everyone has someone close who is dealing with a health problem or they themselves are dealing with one. Maybe it isn’t someone close to you now – and hopefully it stays that way – but just about everyone will be impacted in some way at some point. Maybe it’s cancer. Maybe it’s Alzheimer’s. Maybe it’s ALS. Maybe its drug addiction. Maybe it’s mental illness. Whatever the case may be, almost everyone has or will have to deal with a major problem that impacts their health, well-being, time availability, behavior, or something else that can create social or business issues for them.
The next time you have a disagreement or a dispute with someone, keep this in mind. Health (both physical and mental) issues can cause stress that impacts the way people behave and act. We may never know that someone is dealing with something, but I try to consider that in the way I respond to people. I am sure there are many people who are either battling health issues or have someone close to them dealing with real life problems. I don’t want to cause someone additional anxiety or pain, and I hope others would think about this when butting heads with someone else.