142 Days ’til 40: Delaying Judgement Until I Walk in Their Shoes

02 Oct

Never criticize a man until you’ve walked a mile in his moccasins. ~ American Indian Proverb

A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes. ~ Mark Twain

I have very few pet peeves.  I also have a long fuse.  BUT, my biggest pet peeve is being accused of being someone I am not or of doing something that I did not do.  The false labeling and false accusations are enough to drive me completely insane – I have zero tolerance for such things.  I want people to judge me based on truth, not fiction, based on reality, not fantasy, based on proven track records, not rumors.  Furthermore, I want to be judged or evaluated based on my abilities  performance  and content of my character – and not based on my gender, skin color, or choice of partner.  So simple, but we humans seem to choose to make it very complicated.

I hate being subjected to the aforementioned inaccurate and unfair labeling and judgement, but I realize, quite sadly and embarrassingly, that I am often guilty of similar behaviors.  When I meet a new person on the street it is very easy for me to begin to classify them before I even know them – based on everything from the color of their hair to their choice of coffee shop for a morning brew.  This is wrong, and yet we all engage in similar behaviors.  Every one of us relates to each other through a set of lenses that develops and even fine tunes biases and preconceived ideas of people throughout the years.

I am working to challenge myself to confront and overcome the biases I have.  When I believe I am acting or thinking in a way that may judge or stereotype a person unfairly, I work hard to acknowledge the issue I have (as it is ultimately my fault and my issue) and then work to separate my personal issues from the situation at hand.  I wish more individuals in my life circles would have the insight and maturity to do the same.

Today, 142 days ’til 40, I remind myself to delay judgement until I really have an opportunity to get to know people and understand who they are – I hope people can do the same with me.



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30 responses to “142 Days ’til 40: Delaying Judgement Until I Walk in Their Shoes

  1. viveka

    October 2, 2012 at 00:58

    You’re going to be fine … I think you wind yourself up here. You have to stop thinking about it as a problem and turn it into something positive instead. I don’t think you judge people more than all we other do, only that you think so. Relax about it.
    You have brought up this subject before and I think you have created a little monster … for yourself.

    • 400daystil40

      October 2, 2012 at 22:49

      I hope so, but there really are issues with me personally that are not easy to deal with and I really am judged, sadly, in areas I should not be – I think that as society evolves, it will change… my family is still just ahead of its time, I suppose.

      • viveka

        October 2, 2012 at 23:49

        Good luck … !!!!

      • Bob Faw

        October 4, 2012 at 22:25

        I also think that some of these judgements will continue to lessen as society evolves. I’m glad you have a family ahed of its time!

  2. Another Thousand Words

    October 2, 2012 at 02:42

    Very fine post, 400! Many ‘make up their minds’ about who/what we are without knowing a thing about us…to me, that’s just WRONG.

    I was raised to strive to be better…not better than others, but to never quit learning ,and to never forget who I am and from whence I came. Once we lose the desire to learn, we are nothing but proverbial ‘bumps’ on the log of Life!

    • 400daystil40

      October 2, 2012 at 22:48

      Thank you – yes, it is wrong when people judge without knowing us.

  3. dogdaz

    October 2, 2012 at 04:07

    Very important lesson. We humans tend to jump to conclusions very quickly. If you take a breath, you may see things very differently.

  4. craftythriftydecoratingwifemom

    October 2, 2012 at 04:15

    You and I think alike again. At 57 (How many days past 40 is that?) I still find myself struggling. Kudos to you kid.

    • 400daystil40

      October 2, 2012 at 22:47

      Thanks, Janet! I wonder if we ever really outgrow this one……

  5. Lucianus Mauricius

    October 2, 2012 at 04:37

    It is very commendably you acknowledge the fact of being biased of labeling people based on external features. Very few people acknowledge such a thing, and most get offended when confronted with their own behavior by others. It’s true , just like you said, we all engage in such behaviors, and at the same time it’s hurtful to all of us when we’re confronted with lies, biases, underhanded discrimination, while fact, the truth and our own personal record of character, personality and behavior towards other are rarely taken into account. Thank you for being so true to yourself and expressing an issues which pertains to all of us. Luc.

    • 400daystil40

      October 2, 2012 at 22:47

      Thank you, Lucianus! Yes, when we are able to really be honest with ourselves it changes everything.

  6. sakuraandme

    October 2, 2012 at 05:27

    I’ve been with my husband for nearly 15yrs…he’s 21yrs my senior…people assume I’m his daughter
    *smiles*…when they find out,some people can be quite rude or make you feel uncomfortable.
    I’m 44 now and I don’t let it bother me like I once did.
    These people are shallow and I have no time for them!!!!

    • 400daystil40

      October 2, 2012 at 22:46

      Wow, yes, people are shallow – and you are correct, they can be rude and make us feel awful…. you have to learn to ignore them (or sometimes we will say outrageous comments in response to stupid questions……) 🙂

      • sakuraandme

        October 3, 2012 at 10:33

        I can’t stop laughing!… Because it’s sooo true!!! xx

  7. colormusing

    October 2, 2012 at 05:30

    Good reminder, thank you!

  8. kenthinksaloud

    October 2, 2012 at 13:34

    Hmm…wise thoughts here – as were the quotations! No one likes to be judged but we can all be guilty of doing the judging! Not something that is easy to break the habit of doing. Definitely made me think today!

    • 400daystil40

      October 2, 2012 at 22:45

      Yes, we do all do it – glad it made you think! Thanks for the comment! 🙂

  9. getbusyyall

    October 2, 2012 at 13:58

    Thank you for this. It reminds me that I, too, have a ways to go in the whole “judge not” thing.

    • 400daystil40

      October 2, 2012 at 22:45

      Yes, it is a way we can all challenge ourselves, isn’t it?

  10. saymber

    October 2, 2012 at 16:53

    I used to be an extremely judgemental person too but after you go through some rough “stuff”, I learned that may be I need to leave the judging to a higher power!

    • 400daystil40

      October 2, 2012 at 22:44

      Very good point, yes, I did find that going through rough times is a very humbling experience that changes judgment…

  11. tchistorygal

    October 2, 2012 at 20:04

    Good advice for us all to remember.

  12. WhitneyCarter

    October 2, 2012 at 22:06

    They say the things we hate most in others are the things we do ourselves, and I feel it’s sadly true in many cases. But knowledge is power, and figuring out that you’re doing something you don’t like is the first step towards fixing it.

    Love the blog, looking forward to reading more. 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      October 2, 2012 at 22:42

      Yes, I have often said this – it is so true.


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