Ignore The Beckoning Call To Judge
I'm sitting down, yes, you guessed it... In a coffee shop this Sunday morning. In my defense, I've strayed from my usual routine and have found a new place to frequent. It's just down the street from my house, the coffee is great, and the people are different than the people at my other usual spot. I love me some people watching.
Sitting next to me at this very moment is a couple. A beautiful couple, actually. He has long, well groomed hair, a tightly trimmed beard, form fitted clothing, and clearly takes care of himself. She, similarly looks fit, healthy, vibrant and kind. Their chemistry is palpable. They seem like good people. Both are covered in tattoos from head to toe.
I can't stop looking over at their tattoos. They are both so expressive and colorful and interesting. Sprinkled in between the various designs across their arms are words like pray and faith.
I can't help but wonder if they feel judged for their tattoos. I'm sure they do. It's Nashville. Sure, it's full of artists, but it's also full of southerners who are less than open minded. Certainly these two feel looked down on for their choices sometimes. And they deserve to feel that way, right? Because they chose it. Maybe not.
There's a world of significance wrapped up in the decisions to get those tattoos. Whether that significance be what the tattoo represents in and of itself, or what the moment of action to go and get the tattoo represented. Maybe some of the markings are emblematic of a past they are ashamed of, but overcame. Maybe some of the ink was a drunken mistake. Maybe some represent something they are profoundly proud of.
Regardless of if any of it came from a good place or not, these people still seem warm and inviting. They have chosen to literally wear their choices on their sleeves. Good and bad. Maybe you haven't. But I'm willing to bet you would hope to be loved if your choices were on your arms. These people just have the bravery to wear theirs willingly.
Overall, what I take away from this little thought is that everyone is trying their best. Some people's best is tainted with pride, ignorance, shame, or fear. But to feel like you have the prerogative to judge somebody because they willingly put themselves into a situation is to ignore that nobody ever asks for a bad life. Nobody does anything that they don't, somewhere inside of them, believe to be the right thing to do. No matter how misguided that feeling is, it's genuine in all of us.
Just try. See what it's like to ignore the beckoning call of judgement, even for things you deem justifiable to judge for. There could be some beautiful friendships you're missing out on.