Society should stop judgement of others

Mari Williams

When I was younger, I was a judger. I judged people’s hair, outfits, personalities — anything I did not agree with or understand was open season.

“Why did she leave the house with that on?”

“Does he think dressing like that is going to get him anywhere?”

These thoughts swirled through my head daily. I found myself unremittingly looking down on people for things having nothing to do with me.

Why? It had been ingrained in my frontal lobe since I could comprehend speech. I learned how to do this with ease from TV, my peers and even my parents. And so did everyone else. Children are taught from early on what is socially acceptable and what is not.

The problem is, so much of what is socially unacceptable does not even affect other people. Who has ever been hurt by having to looking at another person’s tattoo or piercing? How many times has the length of someone’s skirt or his or her decision to wear five different patterns affected another person’s day?

Yet we continue to perpetuate these ridiculous social standards.

It was not until I was judged for things I had no control over that I really thought what I was doing was wrong.

Fortunately I was able to grow out of this after middle school. I stepped out of the wide-barred cage I was in and simply stopped giving a damn. This awakening was a realization I was sure would only happen with age. In lieu of this I tried experimenting with giant bows, putting unnatural colors in my hair and believing Lady Gaga when she told me, “You were born this way.”

So, no I am not a person who would never judge another. I am human and I slip up quite often. But I try. I try to unlearn all of the useless thoughts pounded into me as a kid and find solidarity in everyone I meet. Now when I catch myself judging someone, I realize my first thought is what I have been trained to think and the second is my own. My second thought is usually, “But what do I care?”

As someone who has sat at both sides of this table I have a lot to say.

To judgers: realize everyone is trying to find his or her way, and just because someone’s fight is not visible does not diminish its existence. Be kind and try thinking before letting hurtful words fall out. And my advice to those trodden by individuals who do not understand you? Screw them.