J is for being Judgmental

The other day I was down in the garden. A bunch of kids were playing close by while some mums and some maids stood by chatting. A fight broke out - we have one almost every minute. One of the kids boxed the other one, only to be punched in return. A mum and a maid rushed to separate their charges. The mother turned upon the maid in righteous anger and gave her an earful. “Why can’t you keep an eye on him? Do you come down to chat?” She said before retreating with her son. “This is what happens when kids are left to the maids,” she added before admonishing her son to ‘never play with that boy again.’

As if that were even a possibility! Five minutes later, the kids are back again.

How quick are we to pass judgements, and how wrong. Among many things motherhood taught me – this was one valuable lesson.. 

People cannot be bracketed.

One of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite books.. 'To kill a mockingbird'

She’s a SAHM - she’s a good mum.
She’s a working mum – she doesn't have time for her kids... wrong again!
She wears a sari/ abaya - she’s conservative. 
She's pushing her daughter to have fries - she's a bad mum.
She’s fat – she’s lazy (that one’s for me).

Oh it can make you feel good about yourself for a while. But when you judge others you also end up judging yourself. And sooner than later you will fall short. You cannot possibly think you are the only perfect person on earth! If you do think you are, well then you’ve reached nirvana and can stop right here. But if you do not, you will fall short of someone and will end up feeling not so good about yourself. The first step to accepting yourself is to accept others as they are.

This becomes even more relevant in a country as diverse as India. People from different regions, states and ethnicities, speaking different languages, dressing differently, looking so very different… it’s as crazy as it can get. 

While I was working in Mumbai there was just one other girl from my hometown in North India and it was assumed that we’d be best friends. However my best friend came from the other end of the country - from down South. We bonded over books. We ended up being roommates and are still friends some 20 years later.

Being judgemental can make you miss out on some really good friends.

Over the years I learnt to reserve my judgement. Oh I’m not perfect just yet but I hope to get there.

Linking to ABC Wednesday the grand initiative now in it's 14th round.

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