To Judge or not to Judge

Imagine a world where there was no judgment, where people embrace who they are and accept others for who they are.  We would see the potential in others and the beauty in their imperfections. We would champion one another instead of trying to outbeat and be better than.  We would applaud those that followed their dreams and strayed from the pack. In this perfect world we wouldn’t compare ourselves to anyone else, because in this world, we would know that no one could ever be alike.  

A perfect world, we are not.  We judge and compare and try to outdo one another, without even being conscience of our doings.  If we weren’t so judgemental, we would learn to see people, really see them. We are all missing out on amazing people to meet, deep conversations to be had and connections that could be life changing.  We are afraid of what we don’t know. The weird, abnormal, different, strange - whatever you want to call it. But, we are uneducated and to busy to take the time to learn about people. It is so much easier to judge from a first glance then to take the time to understand.  

I am an advocate for being different and embracing the person you were meant to be.  Own who you are, be proud, and learn to love yourself. I try to practice what I preach and I teach my kids to be who they want to be, even if it may seem weird.  I love weird. I am a weirdo, the biggest weirdo. I am weird and I own it.

As I sat thinking about this perfect world, I began thinking about why we judge, and compare.  Even as a mom of a special needs kid, I can remember comparing my kid to others. I needed a marker, something to make me feel better about my own child.  If I could see my son was better at something than another, it made me feel like, maybe we were going to make it, maybe Caden’s Autism wasn’t that bad. What I should have been doing at the time was understanding the struggles others were facing and realizing how different we all are, even with a same diagnosis.  What I should have been doing is applauding and sharing joy with every other mom as their kid met a goal, or accomplished something new. What I should have been doing was seeing all the gifts each kid was sharing, right in front of my eyes… I was looking, but I didn’t see.

I feel like we as parents get set up to be judgmental and compare ourselves to one another.  When we have babies, we are supposed to hit milestones. I can’t tell you how many forms to this day, I have filled out asking me at what age my child crawled, talked, walked and said a full sentence.  And how was my birth… let’s all compare birth stories. Forget the fact of the phenomenon of bringing a life into this world, let's compare hours in labor or c-section scars. I mean really… So my first kid walked at 9 months old and my last at 13.  According to the milestone charts, 13 is a little late. Should I feel like there is something wrong with my youngest? Is he less than? Why should I think anything other than he is perfect just as he is.

Comparing doesn’t end with milestones, it follows us.  In preschool we see who knows their letters and numbers and can use scissors correctly.  Elementary school is a whole world of judgment waiting to be had. How smart you are, what role did you get in the class play, how well you play sports and if you play sports, how popular you are and of course what you wear.  It is endless. Entering middle school the judging and comparing turns into mean girls and bullies. Why would any kid stray outside the box, making themselves a target to attack. I fear that kids will never discover who they are and who they could be.  Kids are so quick to join a click and conform. It is a safe place and they are comforted by their pack. Finding individuality, one's likes and dislikes is nonexistent.

You would think the older you got, the wiser, but it is actually the opposite.  We as adults should know better. We should lead by example. Instead, we judge one another.  We judge one another as women, wives and mothers. We get sucked in. Who has the bigger home, makes more money, takes the most elaborate trips, gives their kids the coolest birthday parties and of course has kids that are superstars at everything they do.  They are all going to be professional athletes, actors, models, singers, dancers, or science wizards. My kids, all I want them to be is happy.

Each day as I wake, I am going to make a choice to accept all people for who they are.  I am going to notice the beauty in every face I see and I am going to fill with joy everytime I see a kids smile.  I am going to accept myself each day for who I am and know that today, I am perfect just the way I am. I am me, and I compare to no one else because no one else can be anything other than themselves.