judging · listening · loving · mental health · singing · understanding

Listening, Loving, Judging, Understanding

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Never try to judge people, just try to understand them. 
If you understand them, you won’t need to judge them.” (@LeadToday – Twitter)

Every so often there is a tweet that hits home in a way that makes me want to share it with everyone. It makes me want to say, “Read this and then, we’ll talk!” This morning, one of those tweets came across my feed. @LeadToday posted a tweet that said, Never try to judge people, just try to understand them. If you understand them, you won’t need to judge them.” 


I immediately re-tweeted this. I wanted to share the wisdom of the quote with any one who follows me in hope that they would share with those who follow them. The words are so true, so wise, so imperative for all of us to read and comprehend. 


At the moment that I was re-tweeting, I was also walking through the corridor between the cancer and neuroscience hospitals. I heard someone singing, “Mi Corazon…” My first thought was, “Wow, nice voice” and then I looked around to see who it was. Several of us walking nearby passed a gentleman of Hispanic origin and I think we each had a different thought. Some verbalized, some did not. I was saddened to hear two medical professionals employed by the hospital mocking him. One said, “Wow, he was … singing?” The other chimed in, “He was walking the wrong way.” It is very likely that I am mistaken, passing judgement too quickly, or just plain misunderstood, but those two individuals and I were walking toward the neuroscience hospital and the gentleman with the lovely voice was walking towards the cancer hospital. I took the comment to mean, “He should be heading to the neuroscience (aka psychiatric units) hospital.” Despite the fact that I had spent my morning both driving and crying, I chimed in with my initial thought, “Maybe he just has a happy heart.” 

This tweet, as I’ve already said, was a rare tweet. It made me want to scream from the rooftops, “LISTEN TO THIS!!” As a human, I have passed judgement when I had no idea what the individual/family was going through. So many times, I have thought to myself, “If that parent would just discipline their child.” or “If that parent had any control.” or “I can’t believe they just said/did that!?” I have learned, though, you never know what a person is going through, what causes their situation, or why a person acts or reacts the way they do.

Many times I have had people make statements about our family. They have commented about our interracial status, Gmail’s behavior, the way our children interact with each other, and even the huffing I’ve done when in public with Gmail and he has pushed me to my very limit. We have had people stop us in the middle of a store and lecture Gmail, as if the lectures of someone we have never met, nor will ever see again, will make such an enormous impact that all of the behaviors will just melt away (my gosh how I wish they would).

At the moment we were walking between the two hospitals, I felt an immediate need to jump to the defense of the man with the lovely voice. I felt that I had to let people know that just because a person is doing something out of the ordinary does not indicate there is a problem. Isn’t it quite possible that he was part of a musical ensemble that was performing soon and he was just singing his part to practice? Was it not possible that he enjoyed singing and wanted to share his love of singing (and his lovely voice) with those around him? Is it possible that he had some sort of diagnosis that would lead him to sing to an unsuspecting audience in a very public place? Sure, but the truth is, not a single one of us (myself included) took the time to think about more than one reason why he might be singing. Some used their thoughts to pass judgement, some of us (me) used our thoughts as a way to be snarky.

Judgement is not ours, our job as Christians (and humans) is to listen, love, and try to understand those around us. Our job is not to call the man with the lovely voice crazy, it is not to tell a parent (or think to ourselves) that a parent needs to get control of his/her child. Our job is not to pass judgement. If we are fulfilling our duties of listening to, loving, and trying to understand those around us…we don’t have time to judge.

Are you listening to and loving those around you?

2 thoughts on “Listening, Loving, Judging, Understanding

  1. I tend to be obvlivious to what's going on around me. I wonder how many comments like that have passed behind my back as I've walked (or rolled) by singing…

    I decided a long time ago it was silly to sing the songs that are always stuck in my head under my breath… I sing at church, I might as well get the practice whenever I'm up for it lol

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