This morning on the car ride to take my daughters to school my oldest very snidely commented, “Brianna started crying after I looked at her. She said (mimics whiny voice), “Stop looking at me. I don’t like when you look at me.” Isn’t she such a baby, Mom?” My heart fell a little when I heard my sweet angel not only judging another child but also derogatorily labeling the behavior and using that negative label to slander someone who is not present to defend their actions. On top of all of that, she is a pint-sized hypocrite calling out a friend for something she is guilty of doing on a regular basis. My daughter has learned to act like a grownup and she is exactly one month shy of her eighth birthday. It turns my stomach that our world so quickly teaches such nasty behavior.
Rants I could make:
- “Mean People” Bullying and Hate-Mongering
- Grownups “Influencing” Children to Behave Poorly
- Children “Adopting” Grownup Behaviors Too Early
Positives I take away:
- My daughter trusts me with social problems she is experiencing.
- My children are able to recognize bad behavior when it is not their own.
- My daughters feel comfortable conversing without fear of punishment for speaking freely.
How I handled the situation:
I asked myself what I would want to hear from a friendly voice if I was just found to be hypocritical in my accidental judgment of another person. And what I would want to hear would be a gentle reminder that we all tend to behave the same way for different reasons, even when it comes to breaking rules. Rather than judging the person for what is wrong, consider what the person might be going through to cause them to act out in such a manner. Sometimes we don’t want to be looked at. Sometimes we really want everyone to look our way and pay us a lot of attention. Just because we act a certain way at a certain time does not mean we are that way all of the time. But it is certain that if a person is acting out of character, there is something causing that change.
Whether you are willing to dig in and find out what is going on is up to you, but choosing to stop short and judge a person and related situation without knowing any details is not only ignorant but a nasty negative lifestyle choice that leads to people hating on people for nothing more than randomly generated excuses and mislabeled “facts”. Be a hater if that’s what makes you happy, but please stop pretending that making reasons to not like someone else will make you a better person or result in people thinking you are “nice” or “friendly”. The truth remains, if you are able to insult a stranger it won’t be long before the insults come about the people you spend your life living with. Judgement is a learned and practiced behavior. If you start learning by judging people you don’t know, it makes it that much easier to judge people who give you real examples and actual facts to base dislike and hatred around. Soon the learned behavior becomes practiced ritual which morphs into actual habitual actions that become part of the person being portrayed to the world at large, resulting in people who believe they are “good” while actively creating negative energy for no reason other than to express negative views and opinions.
How I get around “Judgement”:
I use my observations of others to better align my actions with the person I want to be. I watch and make note of how other people behave and how their actions affect my feelings. I weigh those feelings against how I would choose to act in the same situation (as I perceive it). I then decide what my course of action would be and try to imagine how things would have gone in that scenario. Weighing my scenario against the real scenario lets me get a better feel for how people might perceive me and allows me to incrementally adjust my natural energy so I can make un-concentrated choices to act in my best intentioned behavior without having to actually think about it in the moment I am “hopefully” behaving like a living saint.
Mildly Crazy Internal Belief Structure:
I don’t feel that I am naturally saint like in my behavior however I do feel that my nature is that of a saint. It’s a very interesting because my baseline intentions are to treat others as the divine gifts of God that they are. However somewhere between my baseline intentions and my actual behavior there is a disconnect where I get judgy, preachy, condescending, and downright mean on a more frequent basis than is my intention. And so that is why I people watch. I watch others so I can better learn how to live a saintly life despite being saddled with human ignorance and humane intelligence.
Until the next post I will be considering all the ways this post makes me insane while contemplating how “good” it is to be insanely “planning” for complete salvation of life on Earth.