Growing up, I often heard the saying, “Never judge until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”
It’s like all the sayings parents, teachers, and well-meaning adults tell you: If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. The grass is always greener on the other side. Etc.
Typically, you acknowledge the saying, you try to apply it to your situation, and ten minutes later you forget about it and go out and play. But something about judging people for what they are or are not has always bothered me, and it’s something I hope my children understand one day as well…
I try and understand people and situations, for what it’s worth. I’m a naturally curious person – I tell people straight up: I’m nosy. Tell me everything. I just want to understand where you’re coming from, not to judge, but to empathize. To acknowledge and understand your feelings, or at least try. To be able to put myself in your shoes and try to get a feel for the WHYs and the HOWs and to truly try to say “I am trying to understand”.
I try to be open minded. Of course, I’m human – I’m not perfect, and I don’t claim to be. But I will never talk disparagingly about anyone. I will never claim that I am better than anyone. I will never pretend to KNOW someone else’s circumstances, no matter where they live or how they dress or how they behave.
I am struggling with forgiveness. I am struggling with the aspect that someone said something to me, something that I couldn’t clearly comprehend because I was a little shocked and didn’t know how to respond in an intelligent matter that didn’t involve cursing. Someone who pretended to know my life and to judge me in a way that bothered me to my core – and I didn’t say a word because I didn’t want to offend…
There’s a few things I’ve learnt in my short time here on earth – NEVER assume. Ever. It’s the dumbest thing you can do and goes hand in hand with judging. Judgements are typically based on perceived opinions, on assumptions, or on an unwillingness to see the whole story – to truly empathize with the person, the people involved, the situation at hand.
To assume is idiotic. To judge can be crippling.
To say nothing for fear of offending someone is plain silly.
Just brush it off.
And throw kindness around like confetti.
Kindness and honesty.