Being raised in a Christian home, I was very familiar with the bible verse, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged”.
Even if you’re not a Christian, or weren’t raised in a Christian home, or aren’t even religious, this verse is still likely one of the things that you were taught when learning about morals and how to treat others.
However, despite knowing this verse, knowing this moral standard of humanity, I myself can admit to being guilty of judging people before really getting to know them.
It’s definitely a flaw of mine — and a flaw of many others, I’m sure — and it’s something that I’ve been working on avoiding doing. Of course, I’m only human and sometimes, it just happens automatically before I can even think about.
So, this leads me to wonder if it’s entirely possible for us to completely stop ourselves from instantly judging people.
Can you remember the last time that you judged someone solely based on their appearance or the way that they carried themselves?
Do you remember why you came to such conclusions before even stopping to think about how they came to be that way?
In today’s day and age, it’s hardly uncommon to say that the way people carry themselves is a likely validation of how they are as a person.
After all, people show us what they want us to see, right? So, then shouldn’t we believe them?
As Maya Angelou once said,
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time”
Certainly, if someone is trying to portray themselves in a particular way, then shouldn’t we should just play along with it?
Often times, we only see what’s on the surface level. What we don’t see is what lies below the tip the iceberg — Which is why, although it may be instinctual or a natural reaction to judge those around us, we shouldn’t let those thoughts be out lasting thoughts.
We need to give people the benefit of the doubt.
Lately, I’ve been quite addicted to the Netflix series, Ozark. If you haven’t heard of it or haven’t watched it, I won’t give too many details aside from saying that it’s a phenomenal show.
In the show, there’s a character whom I’ve grown particularly fond of. It’s one of those characters that you’re supposed to initially hate, but then the Writers of the show develop the character more and you learn about their back story, then grow to actually like them, then eventually root for them.
Well, I’m at the point of full-on rooting for this character after getting to know her back story.
In life, this tends to happen a lot. We may have a first impression of a person, but later realize that they’re not as bad as we thought they were.
I mean, sometimes people really are just assholes who turn out to be exactly the same as we guessed they would be, but sometimes we’re also wrong.
Sometimes, we need to give people the benefit of the doubt — They just may surprise us.
Love people regardless.
Another bible verse that you may or may not be familiar with is to “Love your neighbor.”
Yes, this may seem like a wildly preposterous notion to even consider wen it comes to certain people, but we still should.
Many people have the mindset that if someone is unpleasant to you, then you should just throw it right back in their face.
“An eye for an eye makes the world world blind” — Mahatma Ghandi
If that was the collective mindset of everyone on Earth, then just think about how awful people would be to each other every waking hour of every day. The world would be a pretty terrible place.
After all, how many problems were really ever solved with hatred?
We encounter hundreds upon thousands of people throughout the course of our lives and every person has a past, a back story.
Good and bad things happen to all of us. We each make countless decisions that ultimately shape who we are. This is the truth about everyone. Every person has this in common.
So, we need to consider this and treat people accordingly. We need to give them a chance before making final decisions about them. Sometimes, that’s all they really need — Another chance.