I live in a glass house. And I am not afraid or ashamed to admit that. But how often have I found myself judging people and not even realizing that I am doing it. I have often caught myself in mid-judgement and being like “Sham, stop.” And it can be the smallest thing, like what someone is wearing. We have all looked at someone and said to ourselves “She knows better than to be wearing that!” While it is our opinion, which we are entitled to, that is also judgement.

We recently received new neighbors in the apartment above us, and when I tell you it sounds like these men river dance all day long, I am not exaggerating! We see them come and go, they speak, we speak, but we judge subconsciously. It is a group of four Mexican men. And there have been times where we would come home and immediately lock the door if we saw them outside.

One night, we were getting ready to grill and they were on their balcony grilling as well. I made the comment that whatever they were cooking smelled amazing. They laughed and said you should come have some. I laughed it off and went about my way. A few moments later there was a knock on the door. They brought us down an entire plate of food! And it was really good food! And we were so thankful to them. And in that moment, our perspective of them changed. They were no longer the loud river dancing men upstairs. They were becoming friends.

Last night as we all stood outside during halftime of that stressful LSU vs. MSU game, one of them was on the balcony. He talked to us for a bit then offered us a shot of tequila. We were hesitant, but agreed. And when I tell you these men were so nice and so happy that we hung out for just a few moments. It was a great experience! I am not saying that you should befriend every random person that you meet, but some people deserve a second look.

Stereotypes have absolutely ruined our community. And I can say that because I am a stereotype. I am a black female who has a majority of white friends who was always been the token black friend. But I would not change my circle for the world. Because they know me, they accept me, they love me. Society and its standards do not know me individually.

We typically judge one of two ways: externally, which is other people and things or internally, which is ourselves. I am my own biggest critic! I can find everything wrong with myself. And after my recent breakup, finding those things was easier than ever! But I have shifted that to working on those things and realizing that some of those things really were not that bad. I didn’t give myself nearly as much credit as I should.

Pat yourself on the back. Because I can guarantee that the judgement you put on yourselves should not be so heavy or harsh. Love yourself, be proud of yourself, give yourself credit. And with that give other people some credit. Compassion can go a long way and have a grand effect. Happy Sunday readers!

“I enjoy living a true, authentic life and not a life expected of me by a society that does not know me.” -STW



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