Wednesday, October 23, 2013
I’ve been thinking about something for some time now. I have always been fascinated by people…all kinds of people. I want to know how they work, what makes them cry, what makes them laugh, what makes them…well them…and when I think about those things I inevitably think about how we judge others. What defines a person’s worth? By what scale do we measure that worth? What right do we have to measure and judge and compartmentalize a person?
A couple of weeks ago I was having a conversation with someone I just met about tattoos. This topic is usually pretty polarizing. Either you are totally against them or you like them it seems. I like tattoos. Tattoos are an incredibly intimate form of self-expression. (They can also be ridiculous and bad but that’s another topic.) Anyway, like most people usually do, she assumed that I didn’t have any. When I mentioned that I do her response was, with a raised eyebrow no less, “You don’t seem like the type.” Let me say that I hate it when people say something to me like that. You surmised by a five minute conversation and by looking at my person that I am not the type to have a tattoo. And that is what I have been thinking about. It’s something I have thought about a lot actually. Well before this incident.
Most people know the phrase “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Then why do you think you can judge a person by their cover? Not saying that I have never been judgmental or made snap decisions about someone because of how they look. Of course I have done that. I am human. I consciously make an effort not to do this however. I think it is an incredibly shallow thing to judge someone based on their outward appearance. People that operate this way are going to miss out on so many beautiful things. You are going to miss the most loyal, loving friend you will ever have because maybe they look a little odd. You are going to miss out on the kindest, gentlest heart because it might be covered in tattoos. You might miss one of your life’s soul mates because they didn’t look the way you expected them to. (And trust me….life is full of many soul mates for you. Maybe some time I will blog about what I think of soul mates.) You are going to miss someone’s pain, someone’s joy, someone’s creativity, someone’s beautiful, light wonderful soul because you didn’t stop to look deeper. You didn’t look past the outer shell to what it contains. You looked at someone and judged them without a second thought. You placed them in their preconceived societal boxes before you really thought about it.
And that is a sad thing. We’ve segregated, stereotyped and judged each other into a society full of hate, intolerance and judgment. How much are we missing because of these restraints? Because of these invisible categories we’ve decided to place people in? How much joy, how much love, how much talent, how much friendship, how much FEELING are we missing? How much have I missed?
This is what I think about. These are the things that drive me nuts in the middle of the night. These are the reason I keep to myself. The reason most people don’t really know who I am…who I REALLY am. And you know what? That is sad. Because it’s not that I don’t want people to know me. I don’t want people to place me in a box. I don’t want people to label me. I don’t want people to judge me. And that is why I try so hard to never judge anyone else. To never pretend to know what their journey is about. I would rather learn about someone without caring about what their outside looks like. Because guess what? The best people you will ever meet in your life probably won’t look like you thought they would. So don’t assume you know someone because of how they look. Just open your mind, try to dial down that judgment and see people with your heart and your soul. Not your eyes. J Just a few of my general thoughts.