Early July Morning, Cocoa Beach, Florida

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The 11th Commandment

I have a lot of flaws, we all do. One flaw I have been working on for years is trying to not be so judgmental. To me, this is so important, I call it the 11th Commandment.

How many of us have looked at someone and thought, "Why in the world did they do that" to find there was a perfectly good reason for their decision? I'm sure more times than we would like to admit.

In today's world of technology, it is so easy to say things to people that we probably would not ordinarily say to them...that is through the keyboard. Cyber bullying is a horrible thing. Many have fallen victim to this selfish thing, including my daughter. Thankfully, she didn't pay any attention to it. But, there are some out there that have a difficult time with self esteem, and, therefore, any type of bullying can be very challenging, sometimes even deadly. Many have even committed suicide over bullying. 

Being judgmental can be a type of bullying. We should not pass judgement until we walk in the shoes of those we are looking at, and of course we will never walk in other people's shoes.

Now, we do need to use good judgement. That is different. For example, a friend has had a few too many drinks. We should not get into the car that he is about to drive off in. In fact, we need to make sure they do not get behind the wheel. This will keep everyone safe...this is using good judgement.

Sometimes we may judge people for the way they dress, what they look like, or maybe what they may say or do. There may be a reason for this. I remember one time I was at an event where everyone was dressed nicely. It was a place where men were to be dressed in suites and ties, and women in nice dresses. A women, who needed to be at this meeting came in wearing jeans, tshirt and athletic shoes. Everyone turned and looked at her in a very judgmental way. She knew better than to come dressed like that! Later, I found out her trip to this meeting did not go as planned. You see, her flight was suppose to come in the day before, but due to a situation beyond her control, she had arrived shortly before this meeting. Then, to top that off, her luggage was lost. Yes, she could have just skipped out on this event because she did not have the "right" clothing, but she knew she needed to be there, and elected to go regardless of her situation. 

I can remember several years ago when my kids were very young...we were grocery shopping. One of our children started to whine about something.  We were standing in line to check out, and so we did not leave; I just ignored it. Soon, an elderly woman got in line behind me. She gave me that evil eye and then made a snide remark of how I should discipline my child. Her comments toward me were meant to hurt me, to make me feel like a failure. It has been more than 20 years ago, and I still remember that. 

Anyway....I see children behaving like this all the time. It's just what they do. Children want something, and a parent tells them no, and so they sometimes have those tantrums in hopes that the parent will change their mind. As the caregiver, we should never give in to these type of behaviors. When I see this though, I try to comfort the parent. I smile and usually say something to them like, "I totally get it, I had four of my own," and then we usually have a little laugh.

So, next time you start to judge, think twice. Do you know the whole story? How would you react if you were in the same situation? We all need to think before we speak. It's like what my parents use to say to me..."If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

Let's remember the 11th commandment...Thou shalt not be judgmental.

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