Don't Be...

Don't Be the Judge

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by Lianne Castelino www.whereparentstalk.com

We all do it.  It happens all the time.  It is just so wrong.

Yesterday, I had the honour of meeting a family who encounters this wrong on a regular basis.  A wrong that is akin to a stake to the heart and hard slap to the face — every single time.

Recently their 10-year-old son has started to give random strangers the middle finger.  Before that he used to be defiant to classmates and teachers.  He sometimes physically pushes people away in the park or school yard.  

A kid recently came up to him and told him, “my mom does not want me to play with you because you are a bad kid.”

How awful.

This little boy suffers from Tourette Syndrome and a slew of accompanying illnesses including bipolar disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive disorder, among others.

His parents and older brother are among the most loving, courageous and perseverant people I've ever had the privilege of meeting.  Looking at them, looking at their youngest little boy — you would NEVER know their daily struggles.  These including getting out the door for school every morning, among other things. 

Yet, one of the most hurtful things they have ever had to deal with and continue to on a daily basis is  —- being judged by total strangers.  People who have never walked in their shoes and do not do anything but ASSUME they know the situation.

Who are these people?  I would love to peek into their PERFECT LIVES.

My personal opinion on this matter is simple —- if you judge me by the clothes I wear, the house I live in or the car I drive, then I probably don't want to know you.

Walk in someone else's shoes for 5 seconds before you cast judgment.  Better yet, talk to them, find out the facts, before thinking you know their story.  You REALLY DON'T.

This mentality and penchant for judging a book by its cover is so prevalent these days, especially in the self-absorbed, instant-gratification, self-promotion and materialistic world we live in.   

What's particularly sad is children are born WITHOUT any of these biases or ways of thinking.  It's usually their parents who teach or model this behaviour.

So sad because these people aren't any better than the rest of us.  And most importantly they don't know what they are missing meeting or learning from the people they JUDGE.