I am home sick today, don’t know if it was food poison or just a bad virus but I don’t need to have that experience again anytime soon! I decided that if it was a virus folks at work would not want to receive this little gem. I am sipping mint tea and thought I would take this time to write about something that has been on my mind.
As I was reading over my past posts and I decided I need to be honest and have full disclosure regarding judgement. It’s not fair to only write about all the ways I have been judged, what is harder in fact is being honest about judging others. I have been judged my whole life and labeled based on my weight. While I know I am a good, kind person who tries to see the best in people. It’s not always the case. I judge others, I assume things, and I fail.
I work in over- the -rhine in downtown Cincinnati, which has the reputation for being a really bad area. I have had few problems over the 11 years I have worked at Music Hall. If there is anything I hate about that area it’s seeing men with Pit Bull puppies walking down the street with giant chains and padlocks around their necks. I once offered a guy $500 for his puppy….he looked at me and said “fu$k you lady, this dog gonna make me rich” …I think that if I end up getting shot, stabbed or arrested it will surly be for trying to pry a poor puppy or dog from one of these assclowns heartless fingers. Other than those idiots and the person who tried to steal a laptop out of my office a couple of years ago (only to find out that fat people CAN run when they must) I have had little to fear in this neighborhood.
I am often left wondering about the folks who I see on the streets daily. I always wonder how they ended up here? What was the path? Many simply exist lost and broken, not unlike Tristan at one time. I do try to understand and be compassionate but I sometimes fail. One day rushing into work late for a meeting I heard a woman’s voice…”Ma’am” , “Ma’am!” almost shouting, “HEY LADY”…..I thought, here it comes…”you got a quarter”, “you got a dollar”, “you got a cigarette” …I whipped around with the red hot answer to those questions burning on my tongue…I shot a look right through her as she stood there in front of me with missing teeth, ratty clothes and her belongings in plastic, crumpled grocery bags… her hand outstretched….”you dropped this, you probably need it”. It was my security badge to enter work, my parking key card and a $10 bill slipped in between the two. It must have slipped off my pants where it was clipped. In that moment I was so ashamed, who the hell was I to judge this woman or think that I was too important, too busy to simply turn around. A common bond shared with the toothless lady in over-the- rhine..both judged by how we looked, nothing more.
recently I judged someone I work with, I did not bother to give her a chance, just dismissed her as someone I would have nothing in common with…. I know better than that, than to be the very person who has judged me so many times. Of course in the end she reached out to help me with this site and project, she opened her heart to helping me even though I had not be especially nice to her. She is kind, supportive , non judging, and an animal lover. I am very grateful she did not judge me and even more grateful to call her my friend.
I am making a promise to not only be good to animals and myself but to judge less and listen more. The lessons are everywhere, we can learn from them or we can choose to ignore them. I am done ignoring what the world has to teach me.