How many times have I made snap judgments of a person and then found myself totally wrong. I tend to do that –and am absolutely horrified that I do this. It is one of the many areas in which I most want to improve. I wonder how many people I have unknowingly hurt just because of this nasty, nasty habit. How many times have I decided in a second that I don’t like someone because they failed to make eye contact, because they didn’t smile, or because of some other transgression.
I think of myself and how I am likely to be seen by others. On a day filled with meetings and I am dressed to impress, someone may look at me and see me for the professional that I am. At home, someone may see me lugging buckets of feed and water wearing my dirty old coveralls and see me for the Lola Granola that I am. Outside, someone may see me in my running shoes running through woods and see me for the runner that I am. Or maybe they see me in old jeans, an old T-shirt, hair in a ponytail and see me as the slob that I am. That we all are. We all are many different things. And it is all alright.
Snap judgments are spirit killers. I do it all the time. I’m sure people drive by my house and see only the stuff in the backyard: old lawnmowers, tires for planting potatoes, firewood strewn about all over. It is easy to take one look and chalk me up as someone who doesn’t care instead of someone – no doubt organizationally challenged--who has so many other passions in life, that straightening up the backyard is low on my list of priorities and the state of my yard belies the other areas of life in which I donate my time and energy for the good of others.
Hastily judging other on only one facet is a mistake that I make time and time again. Looking at one’s outward appearance and assuming I know their whole story is a bad habit that I have consciously been trying to break. It hurts when it happens to me and I am abhorred that I do the very same thing to someone else.
Over the past several years, I’ve consciously tried to reserve judgment on people. Short, tall, heavy, thin, neat, messy – we all have something to give. Share a cup of tea with me and I’ll bring you a loaf of the best bread you’ve ever eaten. After all, we are all just humans trying to make sense of our time here.