Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Another Lesson Learned (or the same one again)

Last week I wrote about how easy it is to judge others, even when we don't mean to. I got a lot of feedback on that post and I was glad to see that the struggles I face are familiar to others. I definitely think this is a subject worth revisiting.  Zen Buddhism teaches me to be detached, not judge anyone, not take anything personally. I can certainly see myself progressing but it's much easier said than done, even when I'm aware. One thing I do know is that The Universe will continue presenting me with the same situation until I learn the lesson at hand. I'm getting much closer.

Earlier this week I put an ad on Craigslist to sell my old iPhone. I got a response within 30 minutes. We exchanged a few emails, the person (with a gender neutral name) asking if it was still available and then if I would go down on the price. I replied that I would be willing to take less if no one else was interested in the phone at my asking price. The response I got was this "Ohh. Cause I'm a poor high schooler with no job and it's tough getting 100$". My first thought was "Are you freaking kidding me?"  It's so easy for me to immediately project my values and experiences onto this teenager and his/her parents: When I was in high school I worked, it's summer so why isn't/he/she working, I never had anything as nice as an iPhone, etc. I didn't respond to the email right away because it wasn't necessary. Today I was able to write and explain that I'd sold the phone for my asking price. I believe that all people/things/situations come in to our lives for a reason, for either me or the other person to learn from. This wasn't a big deal but it was a nice little reminder and I wagged my finger at myself "There you go again..." I don't know anything about this kid or his/her family or their situation. The world surely is different than when I was in high school, almost twenty years ago.  I bet it's even tougher than it was back then, now that there's social media and cyber bullying. I've often said I can't imagine what school would have been like for me if FaceBook had existed. All the teasing and cliques are probably magnified many times over. The only thing I envy is that nowadays kids can do research online instead of lugging around those old encyclopedias!

One thing I've really enjoyed about this blogging challenge is that it has changed the ways I look at my day to day life. When something happens I think "How could I write about that?" I've taken to carrying a notebook with me at all times. I even tuck a tiny one in the waistband of my shorts when I walk the dog because I never know when inspiration will strike! I like that I can take a minor event, like the email exchange yesterday and share it with people to start a discussion. What would you think if you got that message? What do you assume about people?


  1. As hard as I try, I still find myself making those snap judgements based on too little information. I always think I have it under control - then I see some "thug" (see, how easy it happens!) walking down the street with the crotch of his pants hanging to his knees. I don't know that kid.....maybe it's the only pair of pants he has and they were handed down from someone with a much bigger waste. Maybe they use to fit him, but his health has declined & he has lost so much weight that he can no longer keep that ONLY pair of pants on his waste. I have to remember that I am not part of a jury and certainly not the judge!

    Thanks for the great post!

    Have a fantastic day!

  2. I am so with you! I just posted this on Facebook today: "Fun fact: When you judge someone you are showing the truth of who *you* are. Think about it." It is tough not to judge, for sure, but trying to be more mindful of it can help. Sounds like the person from Craigslist was just trying to be a little manipulative. :)

  3. I love your writing style and the purpose of your page. You have a new follower. :)

    I just wrote about this subject today as well. I feel that we judge people and situations based on what we think of ourselves, past situations and what we know. I think it's a natural response although I don't think it's an excuse for us to judge negatively.

    Great comment about being aware of what you are thinking. That is something I am working on. It's a never ending battle. I think you may enjoy a book I've read recently by Don Miguel Ruiz, "The Fifth Agreement." He has others but I like this one the best. It discusses some of the things you have touched on here in more detail and helps keep you focused on where you are going with it.

    I'm glad I came across this through the UBC. I'm so grateful for this challenge.

    Thank you again!
    Missy Bell
    on Facebook as Words That Touch Your Heart

    1. Thanks Missy, I've actually read a few of your posts this month! I actually have that book but haven't read it yet. I'll have to move it to the top of the list!

  4. I started working as soon as it was legal to do so. The summer going into college, and every summer during college i worked two full time jobs. Summer camp during the day, and a retail store in the mall at night. I always judge kids these days who have the latest and greatest of everything, but some don't work for it. I dislike the fact that im judging people, because i don't know their family situation. Nobody has walked the same path as anyone else in this life, so we have no right to make judgments, but I think we all do it anyway. Its human nature.


    Visiting from UBC

  5. When people (including me) judge someone, they don't make sure that they know all the facts and jump into self-made assumptions, which leads to misunderstanding. Also what we do not realize is judgement isn't always taken in the tight spirits. It's always better to be non-judgemental if you truly wanna be close to others. If you're judgemental, chances are that you'll be left alone in the long run.

  6. It is hard to make those snap judgments about people in general no matter how hard you try not to judge. I have used Craigslist quite a bit...and I have never had a person not try to give me less than what I was asking for. I even had one guy get less and still not want to pay that when he came to pick the item up. I told him you are getting it for cheaper than I wanted to sell it for and if you aren't happy with this price, there is the road! No sale. Nobody ever seems to want to deal with paying asking price and it is a little annoying. They wouldn't go to a store and argue with the retailer about the price, they would pay it and go on.

  7. Thanks to all of you for visiting my blog today! It feels really good to see people read my writing and relate to it. My goal here is to simply share my experiences with people and as a result of this challenge, I am coming into contact with some other great writers and people. I appreciate all of your opinions. This is a tough subject, isn't it? Once you start thinking differently (Like maybe that kid with the low pants doesn't have any others) it really changes your view of the world!

  8. It's hard not to judge others, and it's a lifelong process.