We do it all the time. We judge a person by their appearance. We judge a person by their decisions they make. We judge them by where they came from. We judge a lot more than we are probably willing to admit. Most of the time we judge wrongly.
While I wouldn't label myself an overly judgmental person, I will say that in the past I have been a pretty harsh judge. In college I remember working one day and seeing a set of twins come in. They had bleach blonde hair, tanned skin and dressed very preppy. My first thought was that they must be from California and that they were probably really conceited. I figured that they would never give an average girl like me a second glance.
Well it turns out I had judged them so completely wrong. They ended up being 2 of the nicest guys I had ever met. They would also do little acts of service all the time without letting anyone know. And guess what...they weren't from California. They ended up being from Idaho of all places.
Knowing them taught me a great lesson in judging. I knew that I couldn't judge someone based solely off their appearance. In this case I had judged off appearance and I couldn't of been farther from the truth.
Flash forward about 10 years. My husband, myself and my 3 little ones are driving on the interstate to go do some shopping. Along the way we are run halfway into the median because another car had merged into our lane while we were right next to them. My husband was able to keep control and avoid the accident but I was immediately brought to tears.
I am sure the car that had almost hit us was probably looking at me and wondering why in the world I was crying over this. I mean nothing serious happened. There was no accident. Yes we were in their blind spot but we all have close calls all the time. No biggie, right. They must of thought I was the biggest drama queen ever. Can we say OVER REACTING.
Well maybe those people wouldn't have passed such a harsh judgement on me if they had known what I had just been through a short 3 weeks prior. Maybe they would of been more sympathic if they had known how myself and my 3 little kids had been in a serious car crash that should of killed us but by many miracles, we had survived.
Maybe those people who give me dirty looks as they speed past me while on the freeway would be more forgiving of my cautious driving while passing semi trucks if they knew how the one time I tried passing a semi myself and my kids had almost been killed.
I am so guilty of being judgmental in the past. I would get so annoyed at slow drivers and mumble about how they didn't deserve to be on the roads. Since the accident I am much more understanding of 'slow' drivers.
We all have a story. We all have reasons for why we do the things we do. Instead of passing judgments on people, who we don't know the stories of, we should instead just love them for who they are.
Yes it is so much easier to judge than to accept. For me it took a near death experience to teach me such a simple concept. While I am not perfect at not judging, I have become more sympathetic to others. I have now tried putting myself in their shoes.
The Pre-Accident Tenille would of seen the Post-Accident Tenille driving and would of been so annoyed with her. She would of sped past her and given her the annoyed look and let her know what a terrible driver she was. Thankfully Pre-Accident Tenille is long gone.
Do I wish the accident had never happened? Absolutely NOT. I have learned too many valuable lessons in the last 4 months. I have changed. I am not the same Tenille I was before July 1, 2011. Hopefully I have become a better, less judgmental Tenille.