Here Comes the Judge

#inspiration, juddddgments, lessonA heavily tattooed man walked past.  Our topic of conversation changed as one woman told us of an experience she had several years ago.

She was a teacher and the mother of one of her students had multiple tattoos. At first glance, judgments were made about this woman’s lifestyle and character.

The teacher learned a lesson when she actually got to know the student’s mother. She said, “This woman was gentle, kind and highly educated. She was totally opposite to what I expected and I knew how wrong my initial impression had been. Since then I do my best not to judge anyone based on appearance.”

I know someone who had a medical condition that caused her to gain a lot of weight. This, in itself, was difficult enough. She told me that people no longer looked her in the eye when they passed on the sidewalk. It was if she no longer existed. Did others judge her as unworthy of respect due to the extra weight she carried? Her story caused me to reevaluate the way I experience strangers. There is so much more to someone than how they look.

As an extremely shy teenager, I overheard a conversation referring to me as stuck-up. It was actually the opposite. Instead of thinking I was better than the others; I didn’t think I was good enough to speak to them. I remained in the shadows, wishing for the confidence to tell them the truth. These judgments defined me for many years.

I wish I could say I am free from judgments. That would be a lie. I’m working on it and getting much better, but they still slip in. Remembering they are usually wrong helps. With this in mind, I know most of my harshest judgments are against me.

“Judgment means that you view the world as you are, rather than as it is.” Wayne Dyer

Don’t Judge Me

Judgments, opinions, perspective, #inspirationThe first glimpse we had of her was in a photograph. It was enough to entice us to drive the two and a half hours for a personal meeting. At that point, we didn’t even know her name.

The attraction I felt was immediate but my husband didn’t feel the same connection so we left her behind. Two weeks later, we hadn’t been able to get her out of our minds, so made a return trip.

After spending a little more time together, a decision was made for 21-year-old Vanessa to come home with us.

Since we had two vehicles, Brian and I each took turns riding with Vanessa. This gave us each some time to get to know her better.

Over the winter, nothing much changed with our relationship. It was rather distant and formal.

As the weather warmed, so did our feelings about Vanessa. We started to spend more time together and the three of us even took a couple of weekend trips.

We appreciated all she had to offer and our admiration grew. This relationship was going to work out even better than we had hoped. Even our grandchildren grew to love her.

Friends are envious of the adventures we have planned with the accommodating 21-year-old named Vanessa.

My husband and I agree that the decision to bring her home with us was one of the best we’ve made. I am excited to see what the future holds as we spend time with Vanessa, our Pleasure Way Van.

Did that last sentence surprise you? What was your perception as you read the story? Did you form judgments before having all the facts?

The simple story of our camper van, that came with the name Vanessa written on the side, reminds me how often I have formed an inaccurate opinion before I know the whole story.

So, let’s make a deal, I won’t judge you if you don’t judge me.

travel, RV
The lovely Vanessa

Break Through

responsible, life, judgment., caution
image from bing.com

Yellow tape was strung across the area, warning us to stay away. Damage was visible on the outside of the building. Inside the store, another area was cordoned off until repairs could be completed.

I asked a store employee what had happened. It seems someone put their car in drive instead of reverse and drove into the building.

The same thing happened last year, in exactly the same spot in the store. The cashier and I talked about the speed needed to do that much damage. Both offending vehicles had been parked directly in front of the store. We thought it was surprising that any driver pressed so firmly on the gas pedal when attempting to back out of the space. Both said we tend to back up slowly and cautiously to ensure safety.

Before I pass judgment, I need to think of times I’ve decided on a course of action and then sped off to make it happen. I haven’t always made sure everything was in place to head in the right direction before stepping on the gas. I wonder what damage I’ve left behind in my haste to get going.

If I don’t want to have a caution tape warning others to stay away from me, I need to take the time to put everything in place before heading off. I am not only responsible for my experience but also that of those I come in contact with. Instead of hitting the gas I need to check around me to ensure I’m going the right way. When I do so, my breakthroughs will not be the kind that cause damage.

“He who begins too much accomplishes little.” German Proverb