The Photos You Don’t See

There was a photo album in one of the AirBnB’s kitchen drawers. The host family had made it in 2013. Inside, hundreds of photos documented the adventures of the couple and their five kids.

Just from looking at this album, you would learn that the host mom has a sister, and that she plays in a band. You would see the husband playing ice hockey, mining for gold with his eldest son, and remodeling the garden of their home. There are hiking trips, birthday cakes, and friends and family everywhere.

As I was flipping through the pages, I couldn’t help but think: Every family, even every individual, has a story as rich as this one. It might not always be one filled with laughter and holidays, but it is a story you cannot capture in even a million pictures.

We can’t see this story when we interact with a stranger at the coffee shop, but the world is a better place when we trust that it’s there. Choose kindness.