Anyone have an epiphany in which they learned NOT to be judgemental? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 01-07-2013, 09:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Anyone have an epiphany in which they learned NOT to be judgemental?

In response to another thread going on and on here, I got to thinking about how judgemental people can be when they really dont know the depth of the person's situation.

I was probably once as judgemental as the next person..things like: why is that person not dressed better, why do they drive that type of car, why are they in such a rush, why do they have that crazy dog?

My epiphany occured when I spent three days in the Pediatric ICU with my son in a diabetic semi-coma. What a life changer. All the parents there were exhausted, mental wrecks! None of had showered for seemed like days, we looked like ***. We probably drove bad. We looked disrespectful when we went out and about and didnt care. I learned from this that people have all sorts of things going on in their lives that we can never understand the scope of! I gained great empathy in those three days.

Another good story : a teacher friend of mine had his epiphany one day when a kid fell asleep in class. He wanted to really embarrass him and walked by and dropped a stack of books right by his desk to scare him and wake him up. Well, it worked..scared the crap out of him. When asked why he was sleeping in class..he responed that his Dad had taken off. ..leaving his mom and him to fend for themselves. He had taken on a night job to earn money for the family! That teacher friend of mine never woke a kid up again!

Anyone else have a life changing moment when they discovered empathy?
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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THere is a big difference between judging someone on appearance or monetary status and judging on a moral or ethical situation.

Personally I see it as a good thing your teacher friend woke the kid up so he knew what was going on.

Funny how one person's experience makes you less judgemental and another's makes you more. Between doing rescue and my jon where I get to see what scumbags there are out there I really could care less about peoples' lame excuses for their behavior and choice.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have great empathy for a person struggling through a situation (for the first time, if of their own doing-even more if the cause is totally outside of them, like a sick child)

Much less for someone who creates drama around their situation, then continues to do the same thing that caused the problem in the first place and continue to seek attention and validation for what they are doing.

No epiphanies there--though I have seen enough times where needing to know the situation before harsh judgement is laid down. But on the internet, I usually don't know this person and the circumstances around them. Why would someone lay something deep and personal on the internet with complete strangers is beside me in the first place.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yes, and I am quite ashamed of mine. In Sugarland, the rich city where my parents live, there is a "ghetto" area (as I used to call it) about 10 miles away. I always looked down on the people "north of highway 6" in their raggedy clothes and pants hanging down to their knees. My friends and I would complain when they would use "our" mall, or "our" movie theatre.

The other day my battery went dead in my car. It was raining and 52 degrees and I was in a t-shirt. I was outside of best buy in a parking spot and I opened my hood and put my cables down, ready for someone to jump me. And waited. And waited. In 30 minutes, EIGHT mercedes/bmw/jaguar owners said they could not help me because they were either in a rush or "didn't know how to open their hoods". I was soaking wet and shaking, yet all of these men would not help me for 5 minutes.

Finally, a woman walked out to her beat up honda and said "YO! You need a jump?" When I pitifully said yes, she had me get in my car and put it in neutral, then proceeded to push my car out of the parking spot and into the "aisle" so she could drive around and jump me.

She was covered in tattoos and her hair was an inch long...Previously I would have just assumed she had been in jail....but after giving her a chance and talking to her, she was obviously army or military.

Never again will I judge someone by whether or not they have money.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jocoyn View Post
I have great empathy for a person struggling through a situation (for the first time, if of their own doing-even more if the cause is totally outside of them, like a sick child)

Much less for someone who creates drama around their situation, then continues to do the same thing that caused the problem in the first place and continue to seek attention and validation for what they are doing.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I've had LOTS of epiphanies. But I still catch myself judging people all the time--if I am mindful enough to stop and think, however, I know deep down that "there but for the grace of God go I." You really do have to walk a mile in someone else's shoes before you judge.

Life can be hard, and we're all human beings muddling through as best we can. We're imperfect and we make mistakes. Some of us are born with a crappy hand of cards, and through no fault of our own, we end up in bad situations with no knowledge or skills to get out of them on our own.

I find myself most judgmental with people who are *deliberately* ignorant and mean. Help, understanding, knowledge and compassion abounds all around them yet they stubbornly refuse to engage it, would seemingly rather exist in a world of hate, darkness and ignorance... like the Westboro Baptist types. Those kind of people are difficult to have compassion for, but again, I have no idea how they were raised, if they were abused, mentally disabled, etc.

This is why early childhood and continuing education is SO important, I believe. And that's all I'll say at this point, lest this thread drift toward politics.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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We ALL judge. Every day. Judgement brings about questions. Questions require answers - and often-times, the answers cause us to question our own judgements.

Hostile judgement - a different story.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I can't say that I've had an epiphany, but I do feel that we should not judge only on appearances or behavior. When I managed a dining room and worked with a crew of summer staffers, I used to tell them that we don't know what is behind a face. Is the demanding, unreasonable customer someone who just lost a child in a car accident? Is the grumpy person someone who's bravely battling cancer and losing? While there's no excuse for obnoxious behavior, we all know that life's challenges and hurts can cause people to behave in ways that may not be characteristic of them. I would hope that, by extending grace to others, maybe others would extend grace to me when I need it.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I don't judge based on appearance, because I so passionately wish that society would stop caring about appearance. We're evolved enough to be capable of knowing that the true value of someone lies in who they are, so it makes me so frustrated so see people judging others based on their appearance like some animal picking their mate based on how colorful they look or something.

I'll judge others based on their words and actions. Even if someone is having a bad day, as hard as it is they should remain civil and polite and shouldn't take out their frustration on others. If acting like a jerk to others every time you are in a bad mood was acceptable, I'd have quite the heinous reputation by now.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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unfortunately I can't seem to stop myself from becoming judgmental when it comes to how some treat their animals and especially animal abuse I have learned to keep my mouth shut more than I used to tho.

I don't think I am a judgmental person when it comes to appearance, behavior (the snotty guy on the other side of the counter who's having a fit because his order isn't ready , race, how one chooses to live their life,etc.

I don't have empathy for people who don't learn from their mistakes and keep making the same ones over and over again

I try to be nice to everyone but I can't waste my time on people who are all about 'themselves'..
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