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Never Judge, Because You Never Know

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Everyone has heard some sort of phrase on how we should never judge someone. “Judge not lest ye be judged.” “Don’t judge anyone until you have walked a mile in their shoes.” “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” “Never judge a book by it’s cover.” The list could go on and on… Unfortunately, as much as we may preach these phrases or rattle them off, most of us are guilty of judging others. I try my hardest to never fall victim to this, but even I, with all my effort, sometimes find myself wanting to judge others. I’m always willing to change my first opinion, however. But this is besides the point. The real point here is that we really never know what someone is going through. What is on the inside is hidden from us, and many people carry demons from their past with them – and they do so with a smile. Or, they may simply not be letting on what is truly going on at that point in their lives.

Here is a good example:

Today I went to work, and people who knew me noticed that something was wrong. People on the streets, however, only saw a young woman with a limp, pale skin, and sunken in eyes. People probably jumped to numerous conclusions: perhaps they thought I was a drug addict, or disabled. Perhaps they thought I was homeless. Perhaps they thought… well, whatever it was that they thought. I guarentee you nobody guessed the truth: that I had torn all of the ligaments in my knee as part of a repetitive work injury, and that I had worked on it that way for two or three days – that, from shifting the weight to my other, uninjured leg disproportionately, I had also sprained my back. I was wearing a knee brace and a back brace, but both were hidden underneath my clothing.

This is just one example, of course. I can share this one because it effected me personally. Everyone has their own story – and so, we shouldn’t be so quick to judge. On this note, allow me to share a poem I wrote recently (which I promised I would do in my post from earlier today) that goes hand-in-hand with the message I’m trying to share here:

The Struggle

Do you know my struggle?
Have you walked a mile in my shoes?
Have you been where I’ve been?
Have you shared in my blues?

Do you think you really know me?
And all that I have done?
Were you born to live this life?
Well, were you, hun?

Don’t assume or patronize me.
I know what, who, and where I am.
Don’t guess behind my words,
I can afford to offer you no sham.

What you see is truly what you get.
I fake nothing for nobody.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t have scars to hide,
that I am not a multi-layered somebody.

I have made my choices,
and the bed in which I must lay.
I have often gotten on my knees,
and in fervor prayed.

I have hurt those I loved,
and have burdens which I must carry.
I have shared in joyous news,
and have oft’ reason to be merry.

I know the weight of the world,
for it has rest upon my shoulders.
I know how it feels to climb mountains,
and how hard it is to move boulders.

I have kept company with kings and queens,
and lived amongst the dregs of society.
I have been the center of attention,
and alone in the corner – a nobody.

So much have I done,
and so much must I bear.
So much time seems to have passed,
though not many a year.

Love me and understand me,
or hate me if you will.
I am but myself,
and I will always keep it real.

Do you have a story to share relevant to this? Maybe about how you were hiding something that others could not see, or how you misjudged someone? Share it in the comments below, and maybe you’ll find your story featured on the blog this upcoming week!

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