Ever see someone and wonder what they are like, up close and personal? I do, because I am a natural nosy person. Not long ago I was in a store (you know—the one where you can buy clothing and jewelry, food, wine, auto parts, toothpaste, etc. and pick up your medications) and noticed a young woman who was very ‘out there’ in her fashion choices and makeup. She was probably in her mid-20s, and was very pretty.
She had chin-length blonde hair, tipped in violet (a style I would LOVE to try if my own hair wasn’t so short), and was tall and slim. She had quite a few tattoos and piercings, including a sparkly nose ring and a belly button ring. Her outfit was short shorts, woven platform sandals, a cropped top and lots of jewelry.
I happened to run into her close to the check-out lines. She was talking on her SmartPhone, so, nosy as I am, I took a look at her purchases. There were some pretty high-end things in there, including an organic chicken, a boiled lobster, avocados, fresh pomegranate juice, endive (an expensive and delicious kind of lettuce), brie cheese and a large jar of macadamia nuts.
As she talked on her phone, she pulled out her card to have it ready for the check-out line. I was close enough to see that it was an EBT card.
Well, I’m ashamed to say that my first reaction went something like this: “Well! That’s a lot of pretty fancy stuff for a gal using an EBT card! I wonder how much all those tattoos and piercings cost?”
What a crass and judge-y thing to think. Of all the times I yammer on about taking the high road and looking for the good in other people—and this is what came first into my mind? Have I learned NOTHING about judging people based on what I see?
Honestly, I felt lower than whale poop. What is it about us humans that we want to believe the worst about our fellow man? Who am I to judge anyone? Is my life and the way I do things so perfect?
That lovely girl might have worked her way out of an abusive relationship and was claiming her life back. She might be in the process of getting herself together and enjoying a few luxuries after years of want. She might be all alone in the world and was making her own way on her own.
Or she could have just been another human being doing what she wanted to do; it is her life, not mine. Am I such an example of the perfect person? Hardly.
The moral of this true story is this: we are none of us perfect. We can’t know someone based on what we see. We don’t like to be judged on superficial things, and we don’t appreciate it when people who don’t know us make unfair judgements on how we live our lives.
I hope that I can remember this the next time I jump to conclusions. Lesson learned—I hope.