Everyone has that one person that they look up to in their life; maybe you call this person your hero. My mother is by far the greatest woman I have ever known, and she has never steered me wrong. She always taught me never to judge anyone and accept people for who they are.
Admittedly, it was still a little difficult for me not to judge people when I approached my middle school years. I was at that awkward stage in my life where I was not yet a woman, but still a
child, and there was so much pressure from peers to fit into a certain mold. My confidence in myself was still developing and fragile. As you can imagine, it was difficult to stay true to myself when I would hear girls yell “her hair is too long” or “her hair is too thick” and “she’s fat” at me when I would walk into class.
My mother always taught me to keep an open mind, and my head up, and to break free from the criticism that young girls force upon each other every so often. Sometimes it was too hard. I would judge the people around me, because the people around me did the same, but does that make it right?
We have all been judged and have judged others. Our society revolves around judgments. In our humanly defense, we can’t really help it. Judging people comes second nature to most people, and we do it without even thinking. When we meet someone new,judgments on top of judgments begin to flood our minds. We consider all the physical characteristics and appearances of a person before we even finish introducing ourselves. No one is proud of it, but let’s face it… we are all guilty of the crime at one time or another.
The truth is that making judgments is just a part of life and helps us form opinions, but acting on them is a completely different story. It is normal, and we are somewhat conditioned to make assumptions about a person based on what they look like, but you have to keep an open mind with every person that you meet. Being a freshman in college, I meet new people everyday, and if I did not have an open mind, I would not have many friends.
Sometimes the people we initially judge the harshest, turn out to be our best friends. Our society prompts us to believe our first impressions and base harsh criticism on people, but often this is not a healthy way to live.
Her hair was jet black and her make-up was penciled dark around her eyes. She approached me, and I was instantly hesitant. I could not help but
to make judgments about her many facial piercings and dark clothing.
I assumed her personality was as dreary as her appearance. I also assumed that she and I would never be friends. Basically, l was full of assumptions based on my judgments. Maybe I looked strange and weird to her with my brown hair and neutral-colored clothing, (another assumption on my part)however, she did not let it show. If that was the case, shut her down because she did not fit my description of “normal.” But who was I to say what was normal?
Always, she approached me with the biggest smile on her face. I began to see something wonderful in the way this girl carried herself. It was as if she had no care in the world, about what other people thought of her and I envied that freedom. Her presence was light, and I soon came to love being around her.
I wondered how I had been living my life with such concrete parameters on the people that I met. Least to say, meeting her got me thinking.I wondered how many friends I had missed out on, how many people I judged and never got to know. I never would have guessed that this girl, pierced nose and black painted lips, would soon become one of my best friends. If I would have let my judgments continue to cloud my mind, I would have never let myself open up enough to get to know her.
We pass people everyday, in the grocery store or on the way to work, but are we really looking? We are all so busy with getting to school on time or whatever it may be, that we forget to look past our judgments. We forget to notice the wonderful individuality that exists in our world today.
Being a woman, there are many boundaries that need to be respected and never crossed. There are physical boundaries and there are mental boundaries that should never be disrespected. With that being said, I encourage you all to realize that there are some boundaries that should be broken; for example, the boundaries that we put on ourselves about judging people. Just because someone has purple hair or a huge tattoo across their arm does not mean they aren’t a great person. These physical characteristics say nothing negative about their character. If there is anything I have learned, it is this golden rule: don’t judge a book by its cover. I say this within reason. Do not confuse me with trusting your gut. If someone looks dangerous, that is
different than simply looking unique.
We all catch ourselves Judging at times, but many of us live our lives inside a bubble of judgments and assumptions on a regular basis. I challenge you to look at life with an open mind and break free from unjustified labeling. This simple task could change your life drastically.
If there is anything that I have earned from being a shy middle-schooler who is now a freshman in college, it is that judging a person simply by their appearance does no one any good. I encourage people of all ages to really consider cutting unnecessary judgments from your everyday routine. The world is a beautiful and diverse place!
Alexandra was born in Red Bank, New Jersey and moved to Scottsdale, AZ with her family in 2002. She is currently pursuing her college degree in English and Psychology.