"If you didn't grow up like I did then you don't know, and if you don't know it's probably better you don't judge." - Junot Diaz
I don't know who Mr. Diaz is... should probably look him up online... But I do know that he's right. My great grandmother said something similar... if anyone was to say something negative about someone else my great grandmother simply said, very sweetly, "Now we don't know... we've never walked in his shoes."
Everyone's story is different and no one will ever know the full story except the person living it. Everyone brings their own set of criteria to a situation - upbringing, values, faith, education, circumstances, or a mix of all and more. And that mix is what helps them determine how to handle what life throws at them. We all think that we know what we would do in certain situations. And that's good... we can think about it & analyze & determine what we might do if faced with certain issues. But we won't truly know what we will do & how we will act until we are genuinely faced with it. Even then you might surprise yourself. Something may have changed inside of you while you were just trucking along down your path that you didn't even realize... & that thing that just tweaked slightly in you will make all the difference. You'll realize you're stronger than you seem & smarter than you think. And no one should judge you for being true to yourself.
More on judging later, probably... Or maybe a little now... Judging - why do we judge? Are we all so insecure that we have to find fault & issues with others to feel better about ourselves? Or is it that so many people in this world feel they are indeed better than everyone else? I've come to a point in my life where I don't want judgment to be a part of it. I want to live in a world that is loving & kind. A world that is accepting. We don't have to agree with those who are different than us or have opposing values, but do we have to be critical? I think not. I think we should find a way to live together with respect. Learn from each other. It takes so much less energy to be happy than angry... why waste that energy on judging & anger?
I'm going to listen to Mr. Diaz & my great grandmother - who was one of the kindest people I've ever known. I'm going to remember that everyone's situation is different. And that I don't know what I would do unless I was walking in those shoes. And even then... I truly might surprise myself.