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First a word on judgement. We all do it! There are some who seem to be more naturally accepting of others. But, even with those folks, they have certain reactions which reflect that even they too form judgements/opinions about things or others.

Recently my family participated in a long social event with several other families. One family was invited by one of our friends. We didn't know them and they weren't local to us. The event began as a series of phone calls and then emails.

My wife and I began to be offended by some of the emails sent by this family. It resulted in some tension when we all got together. The family didn't want to participate much in the group and barely spoke.

It was easy to judge, as we did, that this family appeared arrogant, a bit hostile and separatist. As time went on the wife began to talk more. Later, the husband came out and played some cards with a group of us. Slowly, they began to reveal themselves to us.

Ironically, the other families departed a day early, leaving my family and this other family to stay the final night by ourselves. We began talking while packing up for the trip home. Before we knew it the four of us adults were sitting and talking in a wonderful, deep manner.

We found out that the wife was from a broken home, was widowed immediately following marrying her first husband and suffered from a malady of physical problems and depression. She had a mentor and her faith had grown tremendously over the past several years. still, she could not trust certain people in her family of origin. He was from a home of alcoholics. Growing up in an alcoholic family myself I had a sense of what that could be like - The famous "Don't Rules" I'm sure was all around him, just like they were for me as I grew. Don't Talk, Don't Trust and Don't Feel. We must have talked for several hours.

After learning a little about their story, I felt much closer to them. I also felt guilty about my earlier judgements. It reminded me of a principle that many of us try to live by - "Don't judge a book by the cover."



"If you judge people, you have no time to love them."

~ Mother Teresa of Calcutta



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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Written by Dave Turo-Shields, CEC, LCSW, ACSW
President, CounselingPros.com, Kenosis Counseling, Inc.
(c) Copyright 2005 CounselingPros.com, Inc.
Indianapolis, Indiana USA 46217