Before you jump to a conclusion about another person, try this first.
Posted in , Sep 25, 2019
Do you have a tendency to quickly judge someone before getting all the facts? You’re not alone. We’re human and with our conscious and sub-conscious biases, we often jump to conclusions without really knowing a person. And that can lead to false accusations.
Recently, I read a story about a grocery store clerk who wrote a letter to advice-columnist Ann Landers. The clerk wrote that she had seen people buy "luxury" food items—like birthday cakes and bags of shrimp—with their food stamps. The writer went on to say that she thought all people who are on welfare and who treated themselves to such non-necessities were "lazy and wasteful."
A few weeks later, Landers’ column was devoted entirely to people who had responded to the grocery clerk’s letter. One woman wrote: “I didn’t buy a cake, but I did buy a big bag of shrimp with food stamps. So what? My husband had been working at a plant for 15 years when it was shut down. The shrimp casserole I made was for our anniversary dinner, and it lasted three days.”
Another woman wrote: “I’m the woman who bought the $17 cake and paid for it with food stamps. I thought the checkout woman in the store would burn a hole through me with her eyes. What she didn’t know is the cake was for my little girl’s birthday. It will be her last. She has bone cancer and will probably be gone in six to eight months.”
At times we are all guilty of passing judgment based only on what we see. For example, we live in a society that promotes being thin, and we may pass judgment on a person who is overweight. We do this without having any information about their health or medicines they may be taking that can cause weight gain. Also, it takes money and access to buy fresh produce and healthy cuts of meat and fish.
What if, instead of judging someone, we first seek to get to know them? We will be surprised to discover that most people are fighting their own battles and trying to live the best life they can. The next time you are tempted to make a quick judgment, pause and let love and compassion be your guide.