The neighbors to the right of me have always been friendly. The two sisters would always speak, offer us food when they grilled, and more. We made sure they got mail that was left in our box, offered our extras, etc. My mom and I began to notice we didn't see them anymore, which was strange. One day, my mom saw one of them and asked how they were doing. Come to find out, the older sister had a nervous breakdown and has been in and out of the hospital. I was so sad to learn about this. Fast forward a few weeks later, I'm in the kitchen and I hear a lot of commotion. I go to the front door and my neighbors, who are normally quiet, are arguing so loud amongst themselves that everyone is starting to peek out of their doors to see what was happening. Long story short, the family is arguing against the sweet lady's husband about how she is being cared for (or the lack there of). To make matters worse, she was just standing there, with a glazed look in her eyes, one sock on and one off, smoking one cigarette after another. She clearly had no idea what was going on.
From the outside looking in, you would never expect all of this was happening next door. We only saw smiles and kind gestures. But once those doors were closed, it's now evident those smiles went away.
I keep saying this...IT PAYS TO BE KIND! You never know what people are going through. What lies beneath the smiles, waves, and good deeds? People are at breaking points now more than ever. And unfortunately, there are so many ways to mask sadness, depression, and mental illness that unless someone tells you, it's hard to know if someone is suffering.
Be kind to people. Everything isn't about you or being done TO you. People suffer in different ways and all aren't visible. If you can't be kind, just mind your business. Every smile doesn't indicate happiness. You never know what lies beneath.