Be curious, not judgmental
If only people could learn to be curious and not judgmental. We spend so much time shaking our heads at others and their actions; the choices they make. We don’t ask questions, we just assume. We don’t take the time to consider all that is happening and instead let our focus follow one tunnel leading to what you think is the obvious but is usually the least informative aspect of what you are really witnessing.
I’m not exempt from applying judgment where it was unwarranted and I am certainly no stranger to making the wrong judgment. I’ve treated people horribly based on one conversation only to find out later they are one of the nicest, most considerate people I will ever meet. I’ve fully accepted people based on outer appearances and how they spoke only to have things stolen from me, so I am obviously not a good judge of anything. Can I use this to get out of jury duty?
Since my stroke I have discovered how judgmental I have always been. It’s kind of hard not to notice when you see your disability benefits for the first time and wonder how on earth you thought people were faking or exaggerating disabilities for such a measly little check. I really hadn’t put much thought into things. You see how someone lives a certain way you disapprove of or disagree with and instead of trying to understand them and their situation, you make assumptions which can lead to false judgments based on facts you totally made up on your own. I’m learning to alter my line of thinking and instead of jumping straight to conclusions I would like to learn more. I had to learn this with politics. People don’t like to discuss politics and I never really knew why until I started paying attention to them. I didn’t realize just how much people are judged based on their political beliefs. It’s the same as religion.
When we learn to associate one thing with another, we lose the ability to question what’s in between, what is there that we can’t see? It’s the rest of the story is what is hidden in that shadow just out of our view. We forget to factor in the other elements and we only see what is directly in front of us. We forget there is a backdrop, there is an entire cast we aren’t acknowledging and there’s those in the back we can’t see that helped to develop and bring this character to the stage. We forget all that went into creating this creature before us and we blame everything we see solely on that creature as if there were no other passengers on their journey to influence what was presented to us.
It’s not only unfair to those we judge but it’s equally unfair to those doing the judging. What are we missing out on when we push people away because we misjudged them or judged too harshly? What perspective of ours could have changed for the better, the greater good, if we had taken the time to ask, converse, listen?
I’ll never know what good people never entered my life because I was too selfish to be curious. All I can do now is practice patience and openness to receiving others before I judge them.