Sunday, October 19, 2014

Please Judge Me

Did you read that sign above?
I did.
And I don't agree. It sounds nice and got a lot of "likes" on Facebook, but think about it.
Should you only accept the judgments of those who have walked in your shoes?
Only listen to people who have been through exactly what you have?
Ignore the input of anyone who hasn't suffered the same pain as you?
Is that even possible when we are all unique? Is it wise?
I don't think so.
I think we are so afraid of being "judged" and being "judgmental" that we have lost our ability to admit that sometimes, we need someone else to tell us: "Don't do that!" or "Stop acting like a fool!" or "You're wrong" or there may be times we need to say those words to someone else.
Let me get personal for a minute. Recently, someone I know who loves me talked some sense into me. She judged me and I am glad she did. She looked at what I was doing, questioned my thinking, and said "STOP IT." This required her to "judge" my actions, intentions, and decisions. She did not stand back, reserve judgment and say 'YOU GO GIRL' as I walked right into a potential problem.
Thank God she judged me and spoke up.
She has not lived my life or walked my path. She has lived and walked her own.
We have not suffered the same "pain" over a lifetime and yet, I respect her opinion, accept her advice, and welcome her input because she is insightful, has pure motives, and truly cares about me.
Her advice reminded me of one of my favorite Bob Newhart comedy skits. Watch it here: (It's short and well worth your time.)

To summarize the skit, Newhart plays a psychologist. His patient is a woman with an irrational fear of being buried alive in a box. His advice?
The skit is satirical of course, but it makes a point. Sometimes we need someone to tell us to "Stop it!" We need judgment. It's one of the ways we know someone really loves us--if they see us acting in a way that could be hurtful or dangerous, they tell us to knock it off. If we are misbehaving or out of line they are the ones who say "Stop it!" I am not talking about the kind of judgment that points a finger out of fear, self-righteousness, anger or ignorance. I am talking about judgment that comes out of love and wanting the best for someone. Big difference. I think the wrong kind of judgment has made us skittish of the right kind, and that's a mistake. (Oops! There I go being judgmental.)

I'm thankful for the 'judges' in my life, even the ones who haven't walked a mile in my shoes. I have big feet, so my shoes wouldn't fit them anyway.

-Hope Horner, 2014
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