Posted by: CeCe | June 15, 2012

A bird’s eye view

Over the last week and a half, I’ve been trying to distract myself from two impending dates that tend to depress me (the anniversary of my mom’s passing and Father’s Day), and I’ve been thinking a lot about judgment.  I’m not talking about the judgment in Revelation or anything like that, but the judgment that we pass against each other.  I see this all the time, from all kinds of people.  Let me give a couple of every day scenarios:

1)  Guy cuts you off in traffic.  What’s your first thought?  “What an idiot/jerk/moron, how dare he cut me off!”  Why is it that those are our first thoughts?  Maybe he didn’t see you.  Maybe he’s having a bad day.  Maybe he didn’t realize he was cutting you off.  Why don’t we think of that, instead of immediately gravitating towards the person whom we perceive as having wronged us being an idiot or a jerk?  I have my theories on why, but I’ll get to that.

2)  You go out to eat, and receive bad service.  Maybe the server is a bit rude.  Maybe he or she is distracted and forgets that you asked for ketchup, or doesn’t refill your coffee.  You think, “What a lazy bum!  Get a real job!  Why can’t you do this simple thing right?”  What you don’t consider is that maybe the server has already been on for several hours without a break. Maybe he or she is worried about their sick toddler.  Maybe they’re distracted because they know that after they work eight hours at this job, they’ve still got their second job and/or their children to consider.  Or maybe you were rude first and didn’t realize it, and they’re feeding off of your negativity because they’re too tired to do otherwise.  Why is it that we immediately take bad service personally, rather than stopping to consider the idea that maybe there are other things at play here?

I see this sort of thing all the time.  For example, people judge my husband because he doesn’t work, without realizing that 1) he’s a disabled veteran, and 2) he’s been trying so hard to find a job and just hasn’t, because he’s so limited on what he can do, because again, he’s a disabled veteran.  People judge how I interact with them, without realizing that 1) I’m from a different generation due to how old my parents were when they had me, and 2) I spent several years in almost total isolation, with very little interaction with people.  I see people judge those who are too fat, and those who are too skinny, the woman struggling with four kids, the fast food employee, the nurse, and the cheerleaders.  They judge the person with the crappy car, and the person with the BMW.  They judge the neighbor with the unkempt yard, as well as the one with the new boat.

Most of us, if not all of us, walk around all day making snap judgments about people based on what we see in a short period of time.  We dismiss the restaurant server as lazy and the driver who cut us off in traffic as being inconsiderate without knowing anything else about the person except that tiny fraction of time in which we observe them.  It never occurs to most of us that others are making exactly the same judgments about us.  And when it does occur to us, we bristle at it, we say it’s so unfair, and so wrong that others should judge us so harshly without knowing anything about us.  But then when it comes to judging others, we say it’s completely fair.  They deserve it, somehow.

I think we do it because each of us wants to be the hero in the movie of our life.  Why wouldn’t we?  Of course we don’t want to think that the guy who cut us off in traffic did so because we cut him off first because we were too worried about paying our phone bill to notice he was there.  We don’t want to think that the server was rude because we treated them like a sub-human and they took offense to it.

I happen to think that most of us are more awesome than we are given credit for by other people.  Sure, we have our flaws, and yes, that means you, and me, but I figure each of us has our own path to follow, and our own reasons for acting and speaking the way we do.  So why don’t we try to lay off the judging, and try understanding for once?  Why don’t we accept that yes, we may be wrong about everything that we believe, and maybe those who are telling us that we’re wrong aren’t as narrow-minded, ignorant, or stupid as we believe they are?  I honestly believe, and maybe I’m just idealistic and naive to believe this but I believe it anyway, that maybe the world would truly be a better place if we just stopped making snap judgments of each other based off of the shortest of interactions.  Maybe.

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Responses

  1. When you judge someone, you judge them for not being you.

    • I think that’s a good part of it too!

  2. Your thoughts always enlighten me. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thanks, Becca! ❤

  3. In the past few weeks this subject has caused a terrible fight between my son and daughter. Daughter being the judger and son being the judged. I have told both of them I will not get involved and they will have to work it out between themselves, but it grieves me as a mother to see this happening.

    • I’m sure it does. I hope they’re able to work it out!


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