In addition to blogging, there is also a Facebook account with my name on it. For various reasons, I enjoy the social interplay there.
The last few weeks, I have noticed a name that didn't appear anymore. Checking, I found her gone from my 'friends' list. N'etiquette probably instructs that one should let that pass without comment, but I was just too curious to let it go without at least one try. I emailed her with a simple question... "Have I said something that upset you?". Too many friendships end with nothing more than mistaken words.
The reply.... she had 'un-friended' me because she had been told something about my past, and it bothered her enough to say goodbye. She didn't say what, and I didn't ask.
My response, and last note, "You judged me based on what someone else told you, without asking me anything at all? You did the right thing then, because I expect we would not be friends for long".
Folks.... I have spent much of my life judging others, one way or another. It's a human trait. In many cases it's necessary to survival. We look at a stranger approaching, and have to decide if they represent a danger or not. We look at people we work with, and have to judge whether they can handle a task. It's normal, and I suspect we all do it, all day long. We judge peoples character, and they judge ours.
That said... I have learned over the last few years... there is a great danger in judging people without knowing them well, and without knowing the whole story. There can be a very high cost to misjudging people, especially on personal issues. Having learned that, I now make an effort to change how I look at folks, and how I judge them.
Given the opportunity, I try not to do it anymore. I don't 'judge' people. I accept them at face value and go from there. Their life is just that... their life. It's not mine to choose their right or wrong, or their path. My only real choice is whether to walk the same path, or a different one.
These are the thoughts that pass through my mind this chilly March morning, as the coffee mug steams quietly beside me, and the wood fire crackles it's glee at awakening.
Today, I shall judge no one, but take life as it comes.