Saturday, June 7, 2014


Today I am thankful for becoming more adept at recognizing my own prejudices 
and assumptions about people.
For example, when I saw this man at a race, I felt myself immediately 
get tense and begin to judge him as a mean, scary person.
I don't know him from anyone else and yet
I could feel my stomach clench and my eyes divert
(prior to taking the picture, of course),
not wanting to make eye contact with him.

And then I stopped myself and thought.
Why am I feeling this way?
I took a look at his shaved head, his tattoos, 
his baggy jeans, and his five o'clock shadow
and assumed he must be harsh and mean.
Was that fair?
Was it necessarily true?

The other day I read a friend's status update on Facebook
and it described a sad interaction with another mom.
My friend, we will call her C, has tattoos and (perhaps some piercings).
 She discovered that the reason 
her daughter's friend couldn't come over to their house to play
is because the friend's mother didn't like the way C looked 
and clearly made a judgement about her parenting/house/lifestyle,
without ever even truly meeting and talking with C.
I was heartbroken for not only C but for her daughter
and the daughter's friend.
Everyone was being affected by the friend's mother's prejudgement.

When I read that status update, I thought,
I would NEVER do that!
I would never deny my kids a friend just because of how 
the parents look before getting to know them personally!

But would I?
Aren't I just as guilty sitting in my stadium seat 
judging this man as he walks by because of the way he looks?
Yes, I am just as guilty.
And when I realized it, I felt ashamed and remorseful that I even 
thought this man was a horrible person without even exchanging 
one word with him.

But all things have a silver lining and my silver lining is
that it made me realize just how often I judge people
by appearances.
I think it is human nature to do so,
so I don't beat myself up over doing it.
But what I do want to do, and will practice in the future,
 is catching myself when I start with that train of thought and STOP myself.
I want to STOP that automatic assumption,
take a step back,
and begin to get to know people before I make a judgement of their character.

It is more difficult than it sounds
but worth the effort in the long run.


1 comment:

  1. I hear you on this...our society does judge on appearances all the time. Most of us are guilty of this...including me!


Thank you for taking the time to comment! I always try to respond to comments via email, so please be sure you add your email to your profile. Thanks!