Displaced Stay At Home Californian in rural N. Carolina

The Many Faces of Joy

The Many Faces of Joy

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Passing Judgment

Someone recently called me judgmental. I have to say that it smarted and I haven't been able to get it out of my mind. This same person also called me conservative but I've run that idea past about 12 friends so far and it was met with peals of laughter so I have disregarded that comment as just plain silly. But the judgmental comment rankled me and I haven't been able to shake the feeling that the person who made it is judging me unfairly.

Does it bother me because I am judgmental? Does it bother me because I don't want to be seen this way? Lets face it, in our own way we are all judgmental. We bring our upbringing and our bias and our education and experience to every situation and we judge all situations based on our biases and where we come from. I once saw a picture of 3 little kids in the backseat of a car somewhere in South Dakota on a reservation. All 3 of the children were under the age of five and there was not a single car seat or harness or booster in the backseat of the car, so I asked "where are the car seats?" I can say without a question of a doubt that I immediately judged the parents of those 3 children for not buying the adequate safely equipment and installing it in their car. There are charities out there that will give you a car seat or car seats if you don't have the money to buy one so your children can travel safe, so saying that they cost too much money was not going to be an acceptable option. I was told that "in South Dakota on the reservation they don't follow those rules". Since I didn't know those people or those children, I had to let it go. Judge and release.

This morning I took the girls to Target and in the parking lot of Target there was a domestic dispute between a woman and a man. The woman was sobbing and the man had taken her car keys and walked into the store leaving her alone and with no way of driving away. She was screaming at the man as he walked away and it was unclear if she was drunk, angry, or just plain crazy. Either way, my heart went out to the woman and I immediately judged her and wished she would get out of that relationship. No man should walk away to the sounds of his woman sobbing in pain, anger, frustration or craziness. And no woman should stay in a bad relationship, no matter how great that guy is in bed.

So maybe I am judgmental. And maybe it is something I need to work on. But in the meantime, here is a list of people who are going to be judged by me:

People who text while driving will still get dirty looks from me. And people who smack their kids in public will still get dirty looks from me. And people who intentionally pick on someone who is smaller or weaker will get a few words from me. And people who answer my questions with a bible verse will get raised eyebrows. And people who cut off cyclists on the road will get honks from my car. And people who cheat good waiters out of a good tip will get a comment from me. And if I see you kicking or hitting your dog, I will steer clear of you. And if I hear of you driving around town with your kids in the backseat and you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, I will judge you. And if you post pictures of yourself doing stupid stuff like smoking pot with your kids on Facebook, you got it, I'm judging you. (there is more to the list, if you want the whole list, email me and I'll send it to you)

And if you call me judgmental, I'll most likely blog about it so that all 16 of my blog followers can read it and judge the both of us.


Angela said...

You're right that we're all judgmental. You're also the kind of person who speaks her mind and ins't afraid of what people think. So you say things other people are reluctant to voice, or won't say for fear of what people will think of them. It's a quality I really admire in you. I bring you up all the time as an example of someone I wish I could be more like - living and speaking true to yourself.

I think people are so used to everything being sugar-coated that an honest opinion comes across as shocking or judgmental, even if the person actually agrees with you. The key part is that you don't live in fear of judgment yourself. I try to remember that every time I find myself agreeing with some one to be polite instead of saying what I really think. I wish I was more judgmental, and less of a coward about being judged!

runlikejoy said...

awww, why thank you ma'am, such sweet compliments! I was editing my blog post - having spit it out quickly and not done any editing - and you already had posted! Super speedy super Angela!