Thursday, January 06, 2011

People in Boxes

It occurred to me this evening that I am an extremely judgmental person. Now, I’m sure some of you are saying “And you’re just now figuring that out?!” No. I’m not, not really. It’s just that for whatever reason, in the past, I have always found a way to justify my opinions, so in my mind I wasn’t being judgmental, because I was right. But it has come to my attention that my opinions are sometimes based on either the opinions of others, or on things that I think I know, but probably don’t.
I’ve always thought of myself as a nonjudgmental person… not because I wasn’t one (obviously), but because I didn’t want to be one. I’ve prided myself in seeing all people as equals, not caring about their religion, race, sexual orientation, political views, etc. But I’ve come to realize that I judge people on much more ridiculous things. There are some people that I have avoided/thought I disliked because of who they hang out with, how they dress, how they act in public, etc. How ridiculous.
I like my life clean and organized and maybe that's part of the reason why I’ve been trying to corral people into neat little boxes that are each labeled tidily. “People I won’t get along with.” “People that are stuck up.” “People with perfect lives.” “People that are shallow.” And so on. But I’ve come to realize that I cannot judge a person by what I see on the outside, or even by the things I THINK I know. Because people are much more than what they show the world.
I know I am not the only person that has done this. We are all creatures of habit, and when we were little, whether it was a parent or a friend, we were taught to judge people. It may not have been intentional, but it happened.
At some point in our lives we’re going to have to realize that people are just people. And the barriers (or in my case boxes) that we’ve been taught to put up will dissolve and hopefully we’ll be able to see individuals for who they are, instead of who we originally labeled them as. I’m not totally there yet, but like so many other things in my life, I’m working on it.

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