I figure I’m entitled to a nice little heart-to-heart post every once in awhile, so that is what I’m going to write today, pals.
As a general rule, I do my best to avoid judging others; I’d say I do about a B-/C+ job of that on a normal day. I consider myself a kind-minded person, but I’ve grown up in a culture that finds enjoyment in ragging on other people, and it would be an outright lie to say I’ve always been reluctant to participate in a good ol’ roast. I’ve flatly refused on numerous occasions, but I’ve definitely done my fair share of criticizing. Am I proud of it? No. However, I am conscious of it, which I suppose is the first step toward a solution or whatever.
I don’t know, I’ve just been thinking about it a lot the last couple of months. Despite my valiant attempts to be aware of the world around me, I’m a pretty introspective, introverted person. This, unsurprisingly, is somewhat of a visual impairment for me, one that my beloved hipster glasses can’t fix. My life, to me, is infinite, much like anyone else’s. I’ve only been alive for nineteen years, I’ve only lived in three different cities, and I only have 819 Facebook friends, but I can’t even FATHOM how huge my life is, it’s seriously all I know. And it’s incredibly complicated too. Everything is affected by something else: my teeth are straight because I had braces, and sometimes I’m sassy (aka rude) because I’m feeling small. I think it would literally take my whole life to explain my whole life. And that, friends, is why it seriously blows my mind when I think about every single person on the planet having their own infinity, their own mysterious and enormous expanse of a life.
When I think about the world that way, I feel like I should crank the “nice” up about a thousand notches. It’s so incredibly easy to sit with a group of friends and talk shit about that kid who is “asking for it anyway,” or to snap at an employee who clearly isn’t in the merriest of moods. We do it all the time. But that kind of behavior grows like a tulip out of ignorance (unpopular opinion: I hate tulips). Seriously, neither you nor I can even begin to imagine what it’s like to be someone else, so is it really our place to judge? I don’t know why my sister (or anyone, for that matter) enjoys country music. I don’t know why Miley Cyrus wants to twerk on everything. But they also don’t know why I have a weird and undying love for the 90′s Disneyland Sing-a-Long. Everyone has their own thing going on, and that thing, whatever it is, is a product of who a person is and the events that have taken place in his or her life. Everyone knows “we’re all different,” but I propose we take that knowledge and actually do something good with it.
Of course it’s easy for me or you to get caught up in our own problems, like right now, my stomach is hardcore grumbling. Which is probably why this post is semi-incoherent. I could honestly ramble on about this for weeks, but I think I can sum up what I’m trying to communicate in a few words: Empathy. Understanding. Compassion. Grace. For other people, but also for yourself.
Reminder (to myself and anyone else): everyone has the time and capacity to improve, and oh what a marvelous thing that is.
“Don’t judge people, Scout, until you’ve worn that person’s skin and walked around in it for a while.”