I am probably a little too PC for my own good, but it is what it is. I struggle as I watch the society surrounding me put down others, generalize, criticize, stereotype, and judge. I am no saint – I have passed judgment more times than I can count.
I used to be an especially judgmental non-mom. To the mom whose child screams throughout the grocery store, I judged you. To the mom whose child threw their food on the ground at the restaurant, I judged you. To the mom who sat on the park bench with their iPhone in hand (I’m sure we’ve all seen this I’ve circulating the webs), I judged you.
(ALL of the above applies to dads and other caregivers as well; it just works for me to relate mom-to-mom now that I am one.)
To others, I judged you too. To the person who sped down the highway to reach the hospital before their grandmother died, I judged you. To the person in the handicap chair at Wal-Mart who looks just fine, I judged you. To the waiter or waitress that forgot my refill, I judged you.
I am trying to cease the judgment. Something I have realized more and more lately is that we never know what is going on. Someone might be suffering severely on the inside, and passing judgment will only make things worse. That’s not to say I will ever be judge-free, but I hope to minimize the negative impact of my judgmental thoughts.
As Halloween approached last year, I saw a meme spread around facebook about special needs children. I am not going to lie – I judged the kids who took too many candies. The kids who didn’t say thank you. And, I think that’s an automatic and normal response. However, that doesn’t make it the correct response. Without mind-reading abilities, we all need to take a step back and make halloween enjoyable for all children. It’s really not going to matter if Superman takes three pieces instead of two.
The meme reads:
The child who is grabbing more than one piece of candy may have poor fine motor skills.
The child who takes forever to pick out one piece of candy may have motor planning issues.
The child who does not say trick or treat or thank you may be non-verbal.
The child who looks disappointed when they see your bowl might have an allergy or be diabetic.
The child who isn’t wearing a costume at all may have a sensory issue (SPD) or autism.
It’s everyone’s Halloween. And really, it is. Without knowing details about someone’s situation, withhold judgment. I am sure there will be kids who grab too much candy because they feel entitled. There may be kids who aren’t wearing a costume because they are simply being stubborn. There may be kids who don’t say thank you simply because they’re rude. But, unless you know for sure, you really know nothing at all.
As a sufferer from a couple “unseen” disorders, I understand what it is like to seem “normal” to the world, yet to feel so far from normal. I am not saying over-diagnose kids. I am not saying make excuses for bad behavior. I am simply asking you to forego judgment without having the whole story. Make this Halloween great for all.