Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I wonder

I wonder, if I counted, how many times a day I make a "judgement" about the people I see and connect with that day. I wonder how often I make assumptions about people based on their appearance or their attitude, and then follow the assumption with an opinion about that person.

Standing in the line at the grocery store is good place to make judgements, isn't it? Some poor woman with a whining toddler gets my empathy every time. I'm suddenly talking with that toddler in an attempt to distract the child, if only for a minute, so that poor mother can get a moments peace.

I'm not just talking about negative judgements but ANY kind of opinion we form in our busy little minds. And isn't it amazing how our judgements change for people we've known for a long time, since we have so much more information to base our opinions on. For those people we have so many judgements; "oh........there she/he goes again..............making the same mistake". How easy is it to see other people's patterns and how obvious the solution seems?! "He/she should break up with so-and-so for gawwd's sake..............I'm over it already so why aren't they?"

Judgements are tricky because no one really knows what it's like to be in someone else's shoes. Even if we've had a similiar experience, we're NOT that other person.

The really cool thing about experiencing tough times is that you CAN gain empathy. My father called it "character building". And hopefully as you get more "character", you get more empathy. And while I have plently of judgements (and even let them slip out sometimes), I'm lucky because empathy comes naturally for me, and mostly I don't have to work too hard at accepting others. Why can't everyone be like that? I guess I don't have much empathy for people without empathy.

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