Judging Others | We Can All Do It, But We Can Also Do THIS…

confession_optGreetings, everyone…

I have a sort-of-confession I need to make this week.

I erred recently, and I’m not proud of it.

Especially because I blog so often about how important it is to not judge others.

And it is…and 99.999% of the time, I don’t.

Really, strangers share their stories with me at the airport and other places I go – and I’m convinced it’s because they sense my patient, tolerant and non-judgmental spirit.

But, recently, I judged.

And I’m sharing this with you because I think it shows that even the best of us can succumb to judgment.

And because I want to show you what I did in response – and what you too can do when you catch yourself judging rather than accepting someone.

Here’s what happened (Don’t hate me!)…

It happened this past Thursday night, when I attended The Hunger Seder at The Ahavath Achim Synagogue.

At the annual Hunger Seder, attendees from diverse backgrounds enjoy a traditional Passover Seder and learn ways to end hunger in America.

I really enjoyed the evening – a wonderful program and wonderful company.

Except for one middle-aged woman, Cynthia, who was sitting next to me.

While friendly, Cynthia was seemingly a bit quirky and, well, a bit of a character.

To be honest, I thought she was a bit odd.

And I judged her for it.Judging Others | We Can All Do It, But We Can Also Do THIS...

Until the rabbi called her up to speak.

And when Cynthia spoke, she shared the most incredibly powerful story – her story – that made me instantly realize the error of my ways.

You see, Cynthia had had a thriving career as an artist…until she got severe arthritis in her hands and couldn’t work anymore and had to go on full disability.

You could hear a pen drop in the room, as Cynthia spoke firsthand about her experience with food insecurity, about how she shopped with food stamps at Trader Joe’s…

And about how she struggled to still feel a sense of dignity despite begrudgingly accepting public assistance.

We can all tend to judge others, but we can also do THIS…

I felt like a horrible person for having judged Cynthia when she first sat down next to me earlier in the night – not to mention hypocritical, as, remember, I blog about not judging others.

But when she finished her remarks and sat down next to me a second time, I was able to make a different choice. A better choice.

And here’s where I want you to pay close attention.

When Cynthia sat down next to me again, I grabbed her hand, held it tightly, and said, with tremendous empathy, absolutely zero judgment and tears in my eyes, “Thank you for sharing your story with me. I’m so sorry you’re going through this.”

I no longer saw quirks and ticks (which we all have, by the way)…

I no longer saw an eccentric character (eccentricity is good, by the way)…

I saw a beautiful human being going through something every one of us hopes we never have to.

And, most importantly, I was able to show Cynthia the caring, compassionate and non-judgmental person I am 99.999% of the time.

To be honest, it’s really hard for me to make this sort-of-confession today. To admit to being judgmental toward another person.

But I hope, instead of walking away thinking I’m judgmental, you’ll walk away remembering THIS when you find yourself doing the same thing…

Judging Others | We Can All Judge, But We Can Also Do THIS...

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Here’s the truth…

Judging others may come more easily, but we must still choose to do what’s harder – accept. {Tweet this!}

When we fail to do so initially, however, it’s good to know we can still make things right.

And that’s what I did with Cynthia.

And it was a true honor and privilege to sit by her at The Hunger Seder.

For on that evening, when it comes to acceptance and empathy, I had no greater teacher.


Know someone who’s a bit judgmental and could benefit from this post? Please share it with them by using one of the share buttons at the top or bottom of this post, or by emailing them this URL: http://beyourselfandtherestwillfollow.com/judging-others


To making it right,



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