After making a snap judgment about a couple sitting next to her, one mother learned the truth and it rocked her world.

It’s easy to think the worst of those around us. When people throw dirty looks at us and whisper to the people next to them, the natural assumption is that they are speaking poorly of us, or being unpleasant in some other way.

However, there are situations where those people are not talking about us at all, but dealing with some painful feelings or memories. This was the case for a mother who assumed the worst and learned a powerful lesson. 

Why One Couple Moved Away From a Mom and Her Kids

woman using her phone at a restaurant
Photo by Igor Starkov

Ashley Wadleigh was minding her own business, going out to eat with her kids before a skating event. She went to Red Robin, where she knew some of the servers as she used to work with them. She requested to sit in one of her friends’ sections, and got a table in a busy area, very close to another couple.

Her three kids immediately started excitedly chatting and horsing around, and the couple looked over, clearly distressed. They said something to their server and were promptly moved to another section. Ashley was enraged.

She understood that some people didn’t enjoy sitting next to three rowdy kids, but she couldn’t believe how rude the couple had been. Ashley asked the server what the problem was, and that’s when she heard a devastating story.

Ashley’s server told her that the couple had recently lost their daughter and couldn’t bear to see the happy family as it reminded them too much of the void that now existed in their life.

Ashley regretted her knee-jerk reaction and decided to do something nice for the grieving couple. She told her server she wanted to cover their bill. 

“He bent down to the table and said, ‘They recently lost a child.’ In that moment I felt so ashamed. My heart literally skipped a beat. I felt horrible for her and I felt horrible for judging her. So, I did the only thing I could think of: I paid their bill and asked the server not to tell them who it was,” Ashley said.

How One Mom Proved the Importance of Not Judging Others

The woman quickly figured out who had done such a nice thing for her and her husband, so she approached Ashley to thank her. She was holding back tears trying to express her gratitude and Ashley assured her that she didn’t have to finish her sentence as both women were trying not to cry.

The woman simply said “thank you” and gave her a hug. The encounter broke Ashley’s heart, but it also gave her a fresh perspective.

“It reminded me to never snap judge someone — you never know what others are going through. It also reminded me to live every moment with my children and to savor the good and bad because they are here and they are mine.”

As Ashley learned, we should never judge a book by its cover. There could be any number of crushing stories happening under the surface. We should also remember to ride the wave when things are good.

We should enjoy every wonderful moment, because time will pass and hardships will arrive. Enjoying the good times gives us the strength to overcome the challenging times.

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