One of the things I had to give up during the last two weeks, was using my blinker. I am a pretty religious blinker user. I am the guy who will talk out loud to the cars in front of me and say things like “What is your blinker broken?” I am also the one who, when someone forgets to turn their blinker off will say things like “What! Are you going slowly around the world to the right?”[su_spacer]
Well, after a couple of days driving with one arm one of my coworkers commented on how hard it must be to drive with just one arm. I heard myself respond with “Yeah! Now I am the jerk who doesn’t use his blinker.” We laughed about it. Yet, as I thought about it more, I realized how easy it is to judge each other based only on what we can see. My arm was in a sling and brace below the window view. Likely no other driver could see that I had my arm tied up and not free for use. They would not have known I could literally not use my blinker. How many of them may have called out a critique of me?[su_spacer]
Then, I realized that we live in a world where people do this all the time. We look at what we can see and draw conclusions. We take our limited view and are sure we can make an accurate assessment of what is really going on. We speak these things as if they are “gospel truth.” Every day we are hit with new blurbs, pop-ups, and stories that judge someone based on what we can see. Let’s face it, we all do it. It is so easy to do. I am not suggesting any of us can be perfect in this, but we could all make a concentrated effort to not make snap judgments about others. We could slow down, or even hit the brakes and really look at what might really be going on in someone’s life. We could try to see more. We could postpone any judgment until we have a clearer view. Heck, we could just try not to judge at all.[su_spacer]
I personally believe that people are doing the best that they can with what they know and have at the time. I know I am. If that is true, then maybe I could let them off the hook. Maybe I can try to give the benefit of the doubt. Maybe I can suspend all judgment and just be loving and understanding. I guess it is possible that I may get burned a time or two. Yet, it seems like such a better way to live.[su_spacer]
I am going through a hard trial right now. I learned from a dear and wise friend that people had been talking about me and my situation. When she overheard their comments, she responded, “You know, I don’t care about all of that. He is my friend and I love him.” She didn’t jump into the judging and gossiping. She was just supportive. I hope people don’t make negative assessments about me because I know very few people can or have seen what is really going on.[su_spacer]
So, as we head down the roads of life this week, let’s try to be less quick to draw conclusions about others and what they are doing. Let’s give people our most generous assumption about their behavior. This may not change the entire world, but it will surely change us. I am resolved to be less judgmental going forward. Can we please all seek to do the same?