I wonder, a lot, about what peoples intentions are. Like, is it necessary to point out every flaw you see in another person? Are you correct in your assessment? Maybe, you are wrong and their flaws are yours.
How is belittling helpful? How is intentionally tellings another person that YOU don’t approve of some attribute in another? Is your outlook better than the person you are judging? Are you perfect?
I have written before about my “Resting Bitch Face” and I have come to accept it as part of who I am. But, does that give you the right to comment on it or judge me based on what you think is “wrong” with me? Fuck no.
You can base this on any tall-tale, parable, or Disney character you like, that fact is simple. You are not always right. You do not have the right to hurt someone else because of YOUR shortcomings. For example, you may not like MY “RBF”, but the key here is that it is MINE. You may not like the way someone dresses, or how they wear their hair, but how does that have any effect on YOUR day to day life? It doesn’t.
When you return to your home at the end of the day all those things that were wrong with the world did not follow you to your door. You left them where you saw them. You walked away at some point and left it behind. So, why was it an issue? Why was what a person was wearing or doing so important that you had to open your mouth and spit vile at them? Was it you? Were you jealous of their freedom to be who that wanted? Are you living behind the wall of standards that someone else created for you?
I would love to say that we are all free to be ourselves, but the reality is…we are not. Not because we don’t want to, but because we aren’t allowed to be.
I LOVE WORDS. I love to write. But growing up with that dream was not allowed. I heard on more than one occasion, “Ticia, stop wasting paper!” My dream was just that, a dream. If I stayed behind the walls built to hold me in I would have never written books, poetry, or even this simple blog. I had to break through the wall. I had to step outside of what was “acceptable” to the people in my life that labeled themselves as the leaders. I found the freedom to be who I was intended to be all along.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when you react in a volatile way towards someone:
- Why is what they are doing/wearing/reading/listening to, so upsetting to you?
- Will they be following you home at the end of the day to continue said annoyance in your living room?
- Will it matter in a month/year/decade?
- Will telling them that you don’t approve change anything?
- Are you jealous of them for their freedom to express themselves?
- Is it you and not them?
Now, let’s be clear. I am not talking about politics, religion, or any life-changing event. I’m talking about judging another based on minimal knowledge. I’m talking about the guy juggling on the corner, wearing paint-splattered over-alls, and singing the National Anthem. I’m talking about the goth kid you ridiculed because “you would never wear that.” I’m talking about the band geek you shoved into a locker or the smart kid who is forced to sit alone at lunch because they aren’t cool like you.
Or that poor parent who is just trying to get through the grocery store with her/his crazy kids to get them home and fed. We judge her/him based on the cranky child throwing crackers on the floor, or the silly one dancing in circles singing Moana in the frozen food section. We judge her/him by that- not by the fact that she/he just worked a 12 hour day and still have 3 loads of laundry waiting and dinner to cook.
Take a good long look in the mirror before you start tossing out opinions. Because someone is judging you.