……Because I sin differently than you!
Recently, a woman I was paired to work with on a volunteer project, fired off a lengthy email to the co-ordinator. She claimed, among other things “I wasn’t tough or independent enough” for the rigorous work ahead. This after 3-4 phone conversations. And two hours in each other’s company.
Too bad. For her. Especially when I received a copy of the email hours after a transatlantic flight from Britain. There was no sleeping on this one. I wouldn’t feel differently the next day. I had to set her straight. Immediately. I was taken aback by the fact that someone who barely knew anything besides my name. And the city I lived in. Could make such quick, unfounded judgements.
I directly addressed each of her points. And specifically asked her “not to judge me because of a few minor, petty, inconsequential incidents. Or because I sin differently than you”. Needless to say, we wont be working together. The project is rather important. Her revelations? A blessing in disguise. Her timing? Spot on. We were due to start within a month.
This experience solidifies how remarkably easy it is to judge others. In my opinion, we judge, stereotype, etc, because we are too lazy. To find out otherwise. When we label. And place people in groups. We have something to work with. We don’t have to look any further than the box we’ve placed them in. We overlook the fact that in the majority of instances, we know their names. Not their story.
We’ve become a society of judgemental moralists. Making decisions which affect the lives of others. Sometimes, with no earthly idea. Yet, based on personal experiences, we forge ahead. Judging spouses. Children. Coworkers. Complete strangers. Anyone with a pulse. There in lies the great danger.
Obviously, some situations require us to act on the information available to us. Simple, every day things. Others more complex. To help. Or remain a bystander. To allow a person to learn lessons. When the person has repeatedly brought woe upon themselves. Etc. In these instances, we should use our intelligence. As a way of figuring out what’s happening.
Expressing an opinion is not judging. Making an observation is not judging. But. When we chose to pass sentences on any person. And act upon those sentences. That is judging. Especially with insufficient knowledge. Perhaps, the next time we are tempted to dismiss someone. Because of course, we cannot be wrong. We might want to take a step back. Better yet, try to live their lives for a day. See if you still feel the same way.
Mother Teresa once said: “If we judge people, we have no time to love them“.
Until the next post,