Humble pie.

I’ve been thinking about judgment quite a bit lately.  I’ve always loved getting to know different people and learning about different cultures, and I think I do a good job of appreciating those kinds of differences.  And yet, somehow, in our own communities and shared cultures, we’re so quick to judge because maybe we think that people “like us” should look more or act more like us.  And when they don’t . . .  we compare.  We either put them down or envy them.  Frankly, it’s stupid.  Unfortunately, I’m not immune to stupidity.  A couple cases in point:

When we were house shopping I was annoyed with strangers who don’t take care of their yards.  All the houses around them seemed to look well manicured, but there always seemed to be one or two dump-yards.  I thought, Seriously, how hard can it be to put in your grass and maintain a yard?  Well, we made a huge landscaping “mistake” at our house recently that resulted in having to tear up our lawn, our sprinkler system, and other things that should not have been damaged, but were.  The result has been a completely unsightly, in-progress yard and a bill that is way over our heads.  It’s impossible to make it look like I want by the time I want it done because of our existing time and money restraints.  So, ladies and gentleman, I am those people.  I have become what I judged.

Yesterday, I went to Arctic Circle (I’ve never been before, but my kids had a coupon for a sundae) and while I sat and ate lunch with them, I watched an interesting crowd come and go.  At one point, a … shall we say large in girth?… family came in and ordered an abundant meal.  My mind wondered why people do that to themselves.  And then I realized, Hello Stephanie, YOU are at Arctic Circle eating lunch in a pair of pants that used to fit you a lot looser than they do now.  And it has been a struggle for you.  I talked to my girlfriends about it last night and we joked how maybe it wasn’t a different lady up there at all, but a mirror and I was ridiculously criticizing my own reflection.  Because I kind of was.

So in light of all this recent self-discovery, I’ve been thinking a lot about these quotes here (below) and trying to figure out how I can move them from the “great ideas” category to a whole-new state of mind, a new way of seeing people. If I can really understand it, I can take “stop judging” off my to-do list and put “love as He loves” on my to-be list. …..

“..The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”  –1 Samuel 16:7

“Who am I to judge another when I walk imperfectly?  In the quiet heart is hidden sorrow that the eye can’t see.”  –Hymn #221

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” –Mother Teresa

“[Charity] It is accepting people as they truly are. It is looking beyond physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time. It is resisting the impulse to categorize others.”  –Thomas S. Monson

Then I watched this video today, and I thought, I can do better.  I can.

I wish there were an easy way to just actually get to know people and get past what they seem to be, like some soul x-ray or something.  Moroni taught that the gift of charity is something we should pray for, so I guess that’s a good place to start.  In the meantime, I’m eating large doses of humble pie, and just hoping it doesn’t make my pants any tighter than they already are.


[p.s.  I need a volunteer for Find-a-Friend Friday this week.  With everyone on vacation and summering and such, my gracious volunteers are sometimes late to get invitations or unable to participate right away.  I’ll start giving out more advance notice throughout the rest of the summer, but meanwhile, does anybody feel like answering lots of questions about yourself in the next two days?  I’ll go ahead and take the first volunteer in the comments (check your email!), and if anyone else is interested, I’ll add you to the list for later.]


21 thoughts on “Humble pie.

  1. I love your thoughts on judging. I try to catch myself, but it’s hard. Human, I suppose…but we can always do better.

    I’d be happy to do this Friday. I find myself with extra time tomorrow….

  2. Here I am, so worried about what others think of me, then turn right around and judge them. I’ve recently started putting my over-active imagination to use when I’m tempted to make snap judgements: I create a story for them. That guy driving like a maniac on the highway? His young wife just went into early labor with their first child and all he can think about is getting to the hospital. The rude lady at the grocery store? Her cat that’s she’s had since before her husband died recently went missing and she’s beside herself with grief. Makes them easier to love.

  3. Just today I found myself meeting a new person who I instantly judged. After five or so minutes I could tell that I’d made a huge mistake and was quite surprised at how much I was enjoying our conversation and getting to know the person. I ate a piece of humble pie after lunch. Didn’t taste so good.

    p.s. I would like to do find-a-friend Friday, but not this Friday. Thanks.

  4. Such a great way of thinking. Thanks for sharing! Our family is built partly through adoption and everywhere we go we’re aware that we stand out…far more in Utah than we probably would in other places. Also two of our children joined our family at ages 8 and 9 under very difficult circumstances, and they’re great girls, but behavior problems are bound to erupt unexpectedly. In those moments I often wonder if other moms are judging me as a parent, and I sometimes want to scream out, “I didn’t raise them from birth!” 🙂 It does make me more aware of making judgements when I see other kids acting up. We don’t know circumstances. (And we also have a nice unfinished rock patch in our front yard…waiting for a friend to come pick up the rocks so we can landscape it, but I know it’s an eyesore…nothing we can do.)

    And it looks like someone already volunteered but let me know if you need a future volunteer.

  5. Really Steph? Artic Circle and then pie!?! Isn’t that a bit much?

    I mean, you’re exactly right. Although I believe in such a thing as righteous judgment a great majority of judgments don’t fall under that category. Darnit.

    Seriously, we just really, really can’t know the why’s and how’s. And it’s good to think once in awhile about some of the things you hope people don’t judge YOU (me) for.

  6. I have learned some hard lessons about judging others- when I admit a patient, I have to review their history and physical record the doctor’s office provides. At a glance, I am privy to their height, weight, allergies, medical conditions, family medical history, pregnancy history and anything else the doctor decides to make note of. Then I sit down with them and do an obnoxiously detailed admission assessment, including everything from your history of abuse to what/when you last ate. Nurses force the doorway to communication WIDE open, which I think is part of why we bond with our patients in a very real way.

    To make a long story short, I have learned that nobody wears a sign that says, “I deal with severe psychosis” or “I lost a child in a car accident 2 years ago.” And yet, I encounter these people every single day- they have had numerous miscarriages, they live in constant, chronic pain, they were abused by a family member, they are addicted to hard drugs- there are all kinds of things that we, and those around us, deal with that just can’t be seen. I’ve had to be very careful looking at someone and just assuming things. But once I look beyond what the eye sees, Jessica is totally right, it really does make them easier to love. So when I catch myself about to make a snap judgemet, I make just one assumption: I don’t know the whole story. And then I try my hardest to treat them the way I would want my loved one to be treated. It’s a work in progress, of course, but I have found I am a happier nurse and an overall happier person when I really strive to love no matter what.

  7. 1. I would be happy to do Find a Friend, if ever you find yourself with a gap. Just keep me in your back pocket. Although, I’d love to see you answer your own questions, but I feel like you already did this… I’m kind of remembering… maybe.
    2. Judging. I love you how pointed out that we tend to judge those who are more like us, more. Good point. But…
    3. I also realize how I often I feel like I’m being judged, when I’m probably not. And even if I am, why do I care? I mean, really. I am a homeschooler, a natural birther, and a Democrat (How many people did I offend with that one sentence??) so I often feel like my Relief Society sisters see me as a freak of nature. But you know what? They don’t. And I need to get over myself.
    4. I love Arctic Circle fry sauce, and how they put it on their hamburgers. I’m just sayin’.

  8. Thanks for all the volunteers. I’m covered for this week now (Thanks, Lara!), but I will add all the rest of the volunteers to my list of potential Find-A-Friend Friday participants. I do a random drawing every week to pick who’s next. Thanks everyone!!

  9. I just finished writing a post to be posted in the am…it is on judging others…

    Seems to be something we all struggle with! Loved your post on it, if you don’t mind I am going to put a link on the bottom of mine to this one. I think you said it so well. Thanks! (if you don’t want the link, let me know, it runs tomorrow morning)

  10. Thanks Stephanie I always love your incite on topics and they always seem to hit home. I am one that tends to feel that I am being judged for my weight only because I use to be embarrassed about my moms weight when I was younger (not that I was thin either) and think that Ben should be embarrassed by me also, not that he cares about anything other than electronics. Of course then there is always when we are out and about with Ben since he looks normal to most people unless they know anything about autism then they usually can tell. But you still get those strange looks when he ask someone not to put their items on the check out counter like at Best Buy because they are small and it would be in his space. I give him credit he does say please don’t put it there, but the looks we get. So yes it is easy to judge based on what we think and not what is really happening in that persons life or their health conditions that might be the reason they are the way they are because we don’t know.
    Deb Smith

  11. Sometimes I’m afraid to pray for things like charity and especially for patience or humility because I fear the lessons. They are so often hard. But if I don’t seek them out, I know the Lord will deliver them to me anyway. So I guess I better be a willing servant and not have to be compelled. And learning not to judge would definitely help me increase the happiness in my own life.

  12. Oh, I needed this. I’ve been reminded recently of the fact that the same forgiveness I share with others is the forgiveness I will receive, and I think also the same judgment I share with others will be the judgment that I receive. Off to work harder at judging not, that I be not judged… Thanks for the reminder!

  13. I could have written this post … so many times during the last several years I felt like I have become one of *those* people … the kind I always judged. The quotes you share are some of my favorites. I, too, need to work on my to-be list, being more Christlike!

  14. I really love this. I’m pretty ashamed at some of the judgments I’ve made, and even more so of the…grudges…that I sometimes hold against those I’ve judged, all before finding out the truth/getting to know the person. I needed this reminder that I need to be better.
    Thank you for sharing this!
    (please..ha…please don’t judge me for my comment!)

    Also, hi, new reader. Came from women in the scriptures. Anyway, I would like to volunteer to be one of your friday friends. It is always fun to meet new people. 🙂

  15. I just recently had an experience where I was at the end of the judging. I was explaining a problem to someone and it felt as though they were judging me for being a bad parent when I had no idea how to rectify the problem. I had been doing many of the things they had suggested to no avail, but still felt that they were judging me for not being more strict etc. They told me that maybe this child needed “more”. More of what I am not sure, but it taught me that I do that to them sometimes and I need to be more sympathetic to others. I need to realize that people are doing the best that they can. It may not be the way that I would handle it or the way that I would do things, but they are doing the best that THEY can do at the moment. It taught me to be kind in words, so that they don’t feel the way that I felt.
    I really liked your post about this. It reminds me to be a little kinder to those whom I do not know and I don’t know all of the situation even if they do tell you some of it. You don’t know what they think, how they feel, what they have done etc. Thanks Stephanie for the reminder.

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