Quick to judge, slow to understand

Bryan Calabro

Learn to think twice before passing judgment on others for differences

Have you ever heard the saying “treat others the way you want to be treated?” or “don’t judge a book by its cover?” They have probably been pounded in our heads for years along with a million other things, and still continue to be. The question is, how often do we follow them?
As a society, we judge others too often and too quickly, and we are well aware of it. The second we cross paths with someone else, we are analyzing them and making our own assumptions. You’re probably thinking, well, it’s a part of human nature, and you’re right. However, that doesn’t make it right.
Take these situations for example, which is something I saw on Facebook and really made me stop and think: A 15 year-old girl holds hands with her one-year-old son. People call her a slut, but no one knows she was raped at 13.
People call another guy fat. No one knows he has a serious disease causing him to be overweight.
People call an old man ugly. No one knew he had a serious injury to his face while fighting for our country in the war.
People call a woman bald but they don’t know she has cancer.
I didn’t just stop and look at this in passing, I even reposted it because I felt others needed to see it. Many of us are at fault here, and sometimes we don’t even realize we are doing it.
But there are no excuses. The bottom line is, we are too quick to judge.
As someone who works at a grocery store and deals with the public, I can tell you that making judgments about others, even just based on their appearance is something that happens constantly.
I see it all of the time, and it doesn’t just happen in grocery stores. It happens literally everywhere you go, and we are being judged in return. I will admit I am just as guilty as the next person for doing it.
The reasons for which people judge others are so numerous, they could probably fill a small book. We tend to judge those who are different than us, including those who have disabilities, speech impediments, a different sexual orientation, look different or don’t seem intelligent … and the list goes on and on. Even criticizing the way people dress or how they do their hair or makeup can make them feel bad about themselves.
Yet we still do it.
Obviously we do this because we feel others are different, but maybe we also do it because we don’t think they measure up to our standards or think like us.
Maybe we just have nothing better to do than place judgment on others, because it seems easier to follow the crowd than be the bigger person and be nice.
The worst part is that we evaluate others without actually knowing the circumstances or the fact that the person could be a very good person and have a lot to give.
The truth is you don’t know what other people have been through or what they are going through. Therefore, you don’t have the right to make judgments.
Not everyone is willing to talk openly about their personal life or things they cannot control. We shouldn’t jump to conclusions based on things we don’t know.
This is not just about judging others, but it is also about making them feel unwanted or unaccepted which is perhaps one of the worst feelings a person can have.
I have always felt bad for those I see sitting alone at a lunch table in school or sitting alone anywhere, particularly kids and elderly people. It always makes my heart melt a little.
We often do not think about the ways in which our negative attitudes and actions make others feel. Not only should we consider this before we decide to think or act negatively, but we should also think about how we are going to feel about ourselves afterwards, and likely regret our hurtful words or actions.
We also don’t want to be the reason behind someone’s feelings getting hurt.
Obviously this isn’t right, and I’ve personally been putting much thought into this recently, which has made me realize how much room I have to improve and become a better person. There is always room to be better. I’ve certainly been looking at things differently.
Everything we go through in life is a learning experience, and so this is as well. We should always strive to change our ways, maybe some we are no so proud of, because it can and will backfire if we are not careful.
People will always be judgmental, but we can always strive to be better. If you take anything from this article, let it be a lesson to always be kind to others, and that means in both words and actions.
The next time you are about to cast judgment on someone, remember the golden rule and how you would feel it you were in that position. You might think twice about making that judgment.