Because sometimes you will never be able to fully understand someone else's reactions unless you actually experience their life. The other day I was stung by a bee for the first time in over 18 years and I was shocked, absolutely shocked at the pain. I thought I could remember what it was like to get stung. When my kids get stung I usually help them and tell them I understand their pain, and I put a baking soda paste on it, and then I tell them, "Calm down, now, it isn't that bad." Well, folks, it IS that bad. It felt like liquid fire was consuming the inside of my flesh and turning it to molten lava. As I experienced the shocking pain, all I could think was, "My poor babies, is this what they were feeling? And I had the nerve to tell them it 'isn't that bad?'" That needs to change!
Sadly I seem to do this in a lot of areas in life. You should have seen me as a first time mom. Whoowee, I thought I knew everything. Then I had my first boy and it has been one never ending lesson in humility as I am annually forced to eat every single snide judgement I ever make about other mothers. Snide judgments taste bad.
I had this same problem with my husband and his getting sick. I never ever really got sick except for the occasional cold, so in my experience being sick wasn't really that bad. When he would get so sick that he couldn't move from the bed I had a really hard time being nice to him. I thought things like, "Faker! It can't be that bad. No one gets that sick. I bet if he got up he would get better faster." Of course it wasn't much longer before I finally experienced sickness to that degree. Yeah, you can bet your hiney that I didn't get out of bed when it was my turn, and I made sure to moan and sniff extra loud just to make sure that Mr. Hotness and the entire world new just how sick and miserable I was.
Again with my sister who suffers from migraines. I thought she was the biggest baby when we were teens. As an adult I tried to sympathize with her but still had a hard time believing that she wasn't over dramatizing the whole thing or was doing something wrong to cause them in the first place. People, if any of you still think this way about other people's migraines I warn you, DON'T! Because some day you will be given a migraine. You will try all the things you've ever thought people should do when they have migraines. It won't go away for weeks. And you will want to claw your eyeballs out of your head in order to find the maniac using the sledgehammer on your skull and destroy him in a gruesome manner. Yeeeeah, um, lets just say they are really bad.
Now, anytime I feel a snide judgment coming on, I try to stop myself and think, "Do I really want to get stung again?" And the answer is always, "NO!" I'd rather just fully believe what people tell me they are going through than have to go through it myself.