Why I will never judge anyone again

[ 0 ] 20/03/2016 |

245_Sad Painted Face_Jackie

 

I’ve been following some conversations on Facebook lately and it strikes me how judgemental we can be towards other human beings. Quite often we judge people from appearances, including myself. We tend to dismiss people consciously or unconsciously, without knowing anything about them, their story. Without realizing that the ones whose appearance doesn’t comply with the standards of normality are the ones who most probably do not care about how others perceive them. They have other stuff to worry about. This is why I felt I had to share a story with you, something that happened a while back and moved me deeply.

It was a few months ago that I was on my way home with Erik, rushing to make it early enough for lunch time in order not to interrupt with his so very important sleeping routine. When I was approaching the building I noticed a woman there delivering a pizza, who stunk alcohol from miles away. My brain almost immediately formed the thoughts that she’s probably an alcoholic, a junky or something of the sort, and how can they let her meet customers and work at this state. I wanted to avoid her but I couldn’t. While I was ringing the bell, she was also struggling to find the bell for the flat she was heading too.

Roy answers the bell and Erik turns to her, smiling, saying ‘daddy‘. The woman gives him a faded smile, turns to me and says with a pained voice ‘My son doesn’t have a daddy‘. The only thing I could think of saying was ‘I am sorry‘ and break short the conversation. ‘Take good care of your boy‘ she continues with anguish in her words, as if talking more to herself than to me. ‘It’s a bad world we live in‘. ‘I will, thank you‘. Nothing prepared me for what was coming. ‘My brother raped my 7 year old son, my brother! I came home and found him in tears and bleeding. I confronted my brother and he admitted everything. What should I do? Tell me! Kill him? Then I’ll go to jail. And if I go to jail who will take care of my son? We’re both taking pills to cope. What am I supposed to do?‘. What was she supposed to do? I could not even imagine the depths of the pain of that woman, a pain that alcohol and drugs could not numb.

This storm of information, this life changing event for so many people involved, came within less than a minute, at the doorstep and on the way to an elevator. So much pain and I was so easy to judge just moments ago. ‘You have to stay strong and out of jail. Your son needs you with him‘. There was nothing else I could think of saying. ‘I think so too. It’s hard. I want to kill him‘. She lowered her head and took the other elevator going upwards while we were going downwards.

I’ve been living in Malta for 9 years and I somehow always felt this island as a safe haven, where this kind of bad things do not take place. They happen elsewhere, in other countries, in other cities. This woman broke the illusion and brought me back to reality. It can be a cruel world anywhere, even at the flat next door.

I hope she didn’t act her heart out and stayed out of trouble. Since then, I am always trying to make a conscious effort not to judge anyone. One can never know what kind of external and internal struggles one is dealing with every day. What we need is more compassion, understanding, love, help and acceptance. More positive feelings towards each other rather than negative.

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