Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Thou Shalt Not Judge . . . or something like that

Let's be honest here; we've all done it. 

We've all passed judgement upon somebody at some point along our journey here, and we will probably do it again.  From our pinpoint perspective, pin-head perspective works well too, we assume we can gather enough information about someone and a situation to determine all there is to know about them: their social status, their moral compass, their beliefs, and their weaknesses.   Judgement is like a seesaw.  oooh!  That just came to me.  Pretty good, eh?  The act of pushing one person down, exalts another person to a higher position or vice versa.  When we pass a negative judgement upon someone, we inadvertently take the higher ground and give ourselves a silent praise for not being like that.  Or, when we pass a judgement of praise, like, boy, she is the perfect mom, we tear ourselves down for not being as good.  In the end, someone always gets hurt.

I try really hard not to judge others but, with summer upon us and lots of opportunity to people-watch at the beaches and the parks, it can be difficult.  For me, I often make up stories about the people I watch, but simply wrapping up my judgements within the cloak of fiction really doesn't change the fact that I have just made assumptions about someone according to how they are dressed, how they speak, and how they treated the people around them. 

So, why am I bringing this up today?  Is this some grand confessional where I reveal  how truly nasty I am? 


We' ll save that for some other time . . . tee hee!

No, I wanted to bring it up because the other day, I felt like I was on the receiving end of judging eyes, and it made me laugh to think how far from the truth this situation looked. 

Here's how it went down.

The kids and I were all packed up and on our way to New River Beach.  We had just drove onto the ferry, and I pulled out my Iphone to do the drill.   You know: facebook check, twitter check, blog check, email check . . . ahh, the world is still in tact.  At that moment, I became very self-conscious as I looked around the car and noticed we were all hooked into handheld electronic gadgets. 

I could hear the old-Betties now: "Just look at the 21C family!  Everyone's playing on one of those computer do-flickies and no one is speaking to one another. What happened to the good ol' days when moms knew their kids, and kids used their imaginations and played out doors until the sun the went down."

For one brief moment, I wanted to tell everyone to put their gadgets away so we could talk about what we wanted to do when we arrived at New River.  I wanted to look like the family we are.  You see what they couldn't possibly know by watching us is this was the only time my kids would get all day to play video games (remember one hour screen time rule) and it was only because we had an hour's drive ahead of us, or that my kids would spend over five hours at the beach that day playing soccer, volleyball, baseball, swimming, etc, or that I am a hands-on mom who drives her children crazy with her incessant need to talk to them.  Stop!  I really am a good mom!

But, in that same brief moment, I stopped caring what they may be thinking, and I started to laugh.  How many times have I, through a glimpse, figured I knew everything about someone else?  How many times have I exalted myself above the poor mother who has just yelled at her kids in the grocery aisle even though I have been there myself?  This was justice.

So, I tuned back into my Iphone and thought: "hmmm . . . I wonder what I can do now to make their story really interesting?".

Tee hee!


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