Beginning this post, I was counting on the assumption that most people who read my blog are Moms……. Yet I sit here thinking and realize that’s not always the case, and that my current thoughts are incredibly applicable to everyone, not just those of us who are parents!
I might as well come right out and say it. There are not many ways in which I can mince words at this point. Few ways where I may be held less accountable for my actions, or less responsible for my private thoughts which I am about to make much less private.
I am a judge. I have never passed a bar exam, nor have I attended law school, yet somewhere along the way I decided to allow myself the privilege and honor to judge others. It’s an honor that I have enjoyed, as I’ve lived in my imaginary castle on Unicorn Island and cast judgement on anyone and everyone whom I don’t agree with. My judgement flows freely and fairly, in the sense that no one is exempt. There is no doubt that I am an equal opportunity judge and that my credentials are irrelevant when it comes to my personal opinions of various people and questionable situations.
Until that day that I wasn’t anymore.
I have never hidden the fact that my life has been a challenge. A perfect storm of drama and humor. A plethora of “you can’t make this $hit up” moments. My life would have damned near been a comedy if it weren’t for the few stoic moments that it wasn’t.
Never have I been a proud person. If anything, I’ve been the opposite. Don’t misread me. My children are amazing. My family is amazing. However, when it comes down to a deep and personal pride, I am always close, yet waiting for the next train. Waiting for the next accomplishment, or kudos, or thing to go right. Waiting for something that I love or believe in to pull me on board and convince me that my life is on the right track and that I should be boastful!
In talking with more and more people, I don’t feel as alone in these thoughts. We live in a day and age where the fight to “win” is futile and our successes are based more and more on things that often tease from a realm of satisfaction just outside our control. An uncertainty based on the events of the day and a poll from the audience, more than on the actual facts of the case. Or given situation.
While I welcome a contradiction, it is my belief that any single one of us tends to judge other people. Even the most understanding or holiest of us all. Not a single one of us has been in a restaurant, or library, or grocery store when we haven’t questioned someone else’s life situation.
This is a day and age where not only fellow parents, but fellow humans should be building each other up. A time in life that is soon to be etched in history. A time where situations will make us or break us. A chance to either build each other up, or tear each other down.
My most recent judgemental situation was this past weekend and I remain less than proud. At the time, I was at a movie with my youngest daughter when a mom came in with her children. There were 7 kids with her. Maybe they were all hers…… Maybe they were her grand children. Maybe they weren’t either of the above. In hindsight, we are talking about a lady who was brave enough to bring 7 kids to see The Jungle Book, by herself!!!! Should any of us care whose kids they were?!?!?
I watched and judged as this lady settled her children and whispered to them all to “Be good” as she left to buy them snacks. I cringed and damned near rolled my eyes when she walked away. I allowed myself to “flash back” to the last time I attempted to see a child’s movie and overheard a parent warn their kids to be good. It was ‘The Lion King’ in 3D a few years ago and it’s possible that my expectations were abnormally high!
Meanwhile, as I’m re-visiting my one life-altering Lion King drama, the mom mentioned above returned with her kids snacks. As I’m sitting in my seat, trying desperately to steady myself up on that high horse of mine, I realized a few things.
One. That lady with the grey, disheveled hair, had more patience than I could ever dream to have!! Right about the time that I’m telling my kids they’re “cruisin’ for a bruisin'” or prepping them to eat a proverbial “knuckle sandwich”, I realize that this mom is oozing a patience that I haven’t known in years!
Secondly, as a bystander, I realize the joy she shows just to be there with these kids. Whether they are hers, or her grandkids, or a strangers kids off the street, it is obvious that she is thrilled to be there with them. As she snaps pics of them on her cell phone, I realize that her smile is about to burst through the seems of the theater. A smile I have rarely seen. An expression of genuine love and happiness. A smile that brought tears to my eyes.
So perhaps, if maybe for just a moment we are able to suspend our everyday judgements, we may allow ourselves a chance to witness joys intended by a Universe otherwise reluctant to smile. Maybe we all need to take a step back and just head-nod and acknowledge all the other people we know who struggle to get by! Like is a struggle and while we may not all agree, we are all in the same boat! We all deserve to be built up and not torn down! That is not a political statement. That is a life skill. That is common human decency. If our country has lost that, then we are screwed far further than which future president may or may not screw us. How about we all just be nice?!?