The Day I Learned to be a Little Less Judgemental


Posted: Fri 13th Feb 2015 15:26

I made a big judgement call on this avocado. He looked super mean but when I got to know him, he was really lovely!

We make judgements every single day. We judge whether to cross the road or not, whether our baby has had enough to eat… I could reel off a long list!

We also make other judgements which are, in my opinion, unnecessary, or formed out of habit. Sometimes, they are not our judgements at all but a voice of a person we once spoke to and now their voice echoes in our minds.

I really like to think of myself as a non-judgemental person (in the sense of judging a person before I know the situation or even when I do). I subscribe to the way of thinking, ‘How can we judge others? We need to look and focus on our own faults’.

Sometimes I cannot seem to switch the judgement off in my mind, however. It might not reach the surface of my lips to transform into words but sure enough, those words are thoughts in my mind. I try to keep them light and breezy but this is not always an easy task! I am pretty sure, without sounding too judgmental, that you know what I am talking about!

Well, one day, I learned a big lesson. I didn’t have horrible thoughts about this girl that I met… but I did have thoughts. And here is my story.

My family and I were preparing to go and live in China and so I ventured off to the Chinese Embassy in London to sort out our Visas. I was full of excitement, a little fear and a huge sense of adventure.

I sat on one of the chairs in the waiting area, big smile on my face, listening out for my ticket number to be called.

Then… in she walked. Just the most stunningly beautiful woman! She was SO confident… she literally breezed in, the most gorgeous perfect hair I ever saw, really long, honey blonde, beautiful blue eyes. I am totally happy with my lovely long red hair and hazel brown eyes so I didn’t feel the stab of envy that I might have felt years back. I just thought WOW! This woman has it all! Just without a care in the world, she must be so happy. This might all sound like positive judgements but truth be told, I was just looking at the surface and felt I had it all sussed!

She sat right opposite me and we started to chat. We asked each other the obvious question; ‘What takes you to China?’

I went first and told her all about my new job teaching at an International School.

Then she told me that she would be walking the Great Wall of China… there would be a group of them going.

I replied ‘Oh that is great’ but it felt like there was more to come.

‘We are walking for Charity’ the woman continued…

‘To raise awareness of…’ and here my mind goes blank as I cannot remember the charity at all.

What I do remember is what she said next.
She told me how when she was a young teen at school, she lost all of her hair. All of it. And how she still does not have any hair. And how this beautiful long honey blonde hair is a wig. And how sometimes, when people stare at her on the Tube, she whips her hair off to surprise people.

I was just blown away. And so happy! So happy to meet this wonderful woman. So inspired! I have friends who have lost their hair for various reasons… and I know it is far from easy. And we live on this massive yet small planet, in the grand scheme of things and we put SO much pressure on ourselves to be perfect.

And here I was, assuming all sorts of things and had I not chatted to this incredibly lovely woman, I would never have learned about her story.

Since that day, I have definitely been more mindful. When I meet people, I try really hard to see beyond what is there. Everyone has a story and some people love to share it too!

I was on the Tube myself the other day and I watched people… the woman who was listening to something on her headphones, the man who was watching something on his tablet, the girl who was looking sideways at the man next to her and eyeing up his sushi…!

And I may have ideas about what these people are thinking/listening to/watching or what their lives are like. But in reality, I have no idea whatsoever.

Talking is good. Talking makes the world smaller. And it leads to a deeper understanding (quick Kate Bush ref there!)

My fabulous friend Fleur Missaghian and I compiled a FABULOUS book a few years ago… so fabulous even that Sir Richard Branson himself endorsed it! No-one would publish it as all the publishers we approached said no-one wants to read a book about peace!

The book looks at a day in the life of various people around the world. A world famous rockstar. A prisoner. An artist who paints using his mouth. A mother. A soldier.

All these people have incredible and simple stories to tell… and we would love to have you read this book for free because we believe these stories are so inspirational.

I strive every day to better myself and I work hard, in my own mind, to remind myself of the virtues I possess, ‘Strive’ is the key word so if you feel you want to lighten the load, read our book, take some time out to re-think and try practising looking beyond what you see. Please share your stories! I would love to hear from you if you had a particular time when you judged a situation and it turned out to be completely different to what you initially thought!

Thank you for reading.

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