“A Man who has the confidence to not feel the need to defend his point of view and at the same time possess the openness to accept other's point of view, without being judgemental, yet managing to stay true to his convictions - Is the Man of Real Substance!” ― Wordions
Stop and look around yourself right now, wherever you are and no matter what you are doing. Observe the people surrounding you - each and every one of them going about their business - doing what they do. Smiling, talking, walking, working, drinking coffee, drinking a beer, reading a newspaper… Do you know them? No. You don’t. Even the ones that you do know – you don’t "actually" know!
No, You never really know everything about another person - TRUE STORY - because people have become so conditioned to building walls and wearing masks, only allowing others to see what they selectively choose to show or share. As for the rest of it, well it stays under lock and key.
I have mentioned this in a few previous posts - my parents got divorced when I was 5 years old. I am the youngest of four children and I have often had discussions with people about how each and every one of us was affected differently by that part in our lives because of our different stages of emotional and psychological development at the time. No two wounds will ever be the same. In learning to understand people, this is an essential element to remember.
“When we are judging everything, we are learning nothing.” ― Steve Maraboli
It is simply not possible for me (or anyone else for that matter) to truly understand what emotional scars and baggage they deal with as adults now, just as much as they will never really understand mine. The same applies to all the other people that cross our paths. Human nature is often quick to judge others – which is fundamentally wrong on so many levels!
The way I see it, is like this: Nobody can ever truly understand the road which another has traveled. No, You do not know what has led them to where they stand today, what mountains they have had to climb or how many hurts their hearts have had to endure - and even if you did, it still doesn’t warrant you the right to judge them, because your understanding of their story is only surface level – and that aside… are you perfect? I didn’t think so.
"Being judged" - is one of the primary reasons for which people build walls and wear masks. It becomes their only source of protection, which is sad really, because your knowledge of another becomes limited as a result of that fear.
My mother always said that I am very good at “picking up strays” – (and by strays she was referring to people not animals lol.) In essence this is true... I have always looked beyond the surface of others - seeking what is underneath the mask or behind the wall, which has attracted some very interesting people into my sphere. I am naturally drawn to people who come off as “quirky” on the outside because, I know their story and accompanying personality is most likely going to be a rather interesting one. Which it generally is – and truth be told… they most often turn out to be the most amazing people that so many others simply would not have given the time of day… because they got judged and condemned before they even had a chance to “show themselves”.
“It is not for me to judge another man's life. I must judge, I must choose, I must spurn, purely for myself. For myself, alone.” ― Hermann Hesse
Considering the rather quirky individual that I am - and all of the insane things that I have done throughout my life so far, I have never wanted to be judged, so I adopted the philosophy of not judging others in return a very, very long time ago. (sometimes I win this and sometimes... not so much lol - but I certainly do try!) I have also found that by living my life with that approach to others has allowed me to get to know people on a much deeper level than many others will know that very same person. When people realise that you are not going to judge them, they will generally drop their walls and take off their masks slowly but surely – allowing you into their world - and that is always a win win. Honestly, I cannot STAND it when people pretend around me. I don’t want them to feel like they cannot be themselves – nor do I wish to feel that way around them.
As individuals, we should not be so easily affected by the judgement of others, ultimately preventing us from being completely authentic – but unfortunately, more often than not - we are. This is where a healthy self-love and acceptance comes into it. Something which I continue to work at on a day to day basis. I have by no means mastered that art, but I have definitely come a long way from where I started!
Remember those movies where two completely "unlikely to match”characters cross paths and end up getting to know one another, ultimately seeing the true beauty of each other – putting aside all the shallow cosmetic details. I would never want to fill my time, space and life with people that I don’t truly know and who don’t know me in return. How empty that must be. We are all fundamentally good – no matter what outer persona they show the rest of the world. When you get beyond that, I can guarantee you that there will be a soul there that is absolutely beautiful. You just need to be a big enough person to go that far. If only more people would exercise this – there would be a whole lot more honesty and love in this world.
“There's nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater,you realize that you've been missing the whole point of the ocean. Staying on the surface all the time is like going to the circus and staring at the outside of the tent.” ― Dave Barry
Until next time...
Much Love from Cape Town, South Africa xxx
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