“We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.” Paul Coehlo
My landlords live downstairs. Rather, my tiny studio is just an offshoot of their loud boisterous house – full of the 5 grown children over for dinner, the grandkids, the friends families with kids, kids, more kids. Mrs. Landlord makes a full meal almost every night. They built the house themselves and like to garden. Mr. Landlord is very sweet and friendly. On the surface all seems cookie cutter. Way too busy for my tastes, but something that screams happy family.
Except that at night, I can hear through their kitchen window. Mrs. Landlord’s smile is usually gone, and all she does is tell Mr. Landlord that he is doing things wrong. I feel so bad for him. ‘Don’t speak to me like that’. ‘Dry the dishes over there.’ Constant criticism. It’s times like these that I am so happy to be in the little studio with no one yelling at me, criticizing how I dry my dishes. It immediately reminds me of my own family, with never-ending internal squabbles.
I had a minor breakdown watching “Shakespeare in Love” on a Saturday night. Love! All is want is love! It seems everyone else has it. But when I hear my landlords after all the family has gone home, I’m reminded that you can’t really know what’s going on behind closed doors. Mr. Coehlo’s quote above is appropriate with the following update:
It’s one thing to feel you are on the wrong path, but another to think that everyone else’s path is better.