Twilight on Seabrook Island
“Do not judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins.” - Sharon Creech
“Do I take into account where others have come from?” - Anon
I have come to realize that the one common denominator in all the relationships I have ever had is – me. This weekend I heard a fellow say that I can predict with amazing accuracy the outcome of all of my future interactions and relationships. All I need to do is to look to the past ones and keep on doing the same old things. Do I want more honest, open and effective relationships? The key to this lies in a detached and accurate analysis of my past relationships, willingness to understand and admit my shortcomings, a plan for changing those things that have sabotaged me and then the action required to set in place new standards for my behavior. And two of the biggest things that block me from having better relationships is my own prejudices and judgments.
This same fellow talked about pressure and reality. He said that pressure will bring out the truth about what we hold inside us. He compared it to a tube of toothpaste. “If a tube of toothpaste is filled with crap, when pressure is applied, toothpaste will not come out of the tube, regardless of the appearance of the cover or what claims the cover makes.” This statement applies to me along with everyone else. But when I am dealing with other people I have recently met I remember that I have no idea where they have come from? Perhaps they were abused or molested as a child. Perhaps they have a loved one they are caring for who is dying of cancer. Maybe they are dealing with some illness or condition themselves that they are struggling not only to cope with but trying to keep from burdening others with. Maybe they are full of fear that they are going to lose their job, or maybe the people they work for place unreasonable demands on them that cause them to have a deeply skewed perspective of reality. The list could go on and on, but the point is – how judgmental am I, and what is the basis of the judging I do?
Since the only skin I have lived in my entire life is my own, the only reference point I have for judging others is myself. The experiences I have had are all the experiences I know – and to think that I know anything close to the full range of human experience is of course silly. So, when I judge others, what then is it that I judge? If all I have to go on is my own experience, then is it not myself that I am judging? And besides, don’t I want to judge others on their actions and their appearance whereas I expect others to judge me by my intentions? Perhaps today I can suspend judgment and give other a bit of grace, tolerance and kindness. And who knows? Maybe I will get some back.
Today, may I be a friend.
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Have a Great Monday !!