My best friend in high school said I was a snob to her for two years before we became friends. I honestly didn’t even remember meeting her until we became friends. I thought for sure that she was mistaken. I was sure I was not a snob.
In my lifetime, I have met people and had friends who have had to make choices that I would never have made, some of which could be considered illegal, immoral, or both. I never understood why people “liked” to or “chose” to live like that. In the back of my head, I have just chalked that kind of behavior up to “personality.”
I know…pretty judgmental, huh? Especially coming from someone (me) who cares TOO MUCH about what everyone thinks of her.
Well, let me tell you what! The past few years have knocked me to the ground, made me beg, and then continued to kick while I was trying to get up. It almost feels like I have been proverbially balled up in the fetal position for two years, trying to protect myself and my kids and grandkids. Now, realize this, I do have a great job and a good salary, and I thank my Good Lord Jesus for that! BUT, there were times when it was not so easy to be the sole provider for a family of 5, on top of other stresses and health issues.
I had to learn how to rely on someone else, or even groups of someone else. I know what it is like to have strangers give you toys for your children (grandchildren) at Christmas, and was thankful for their kindnesses, prayers, and I now know what a food pantry looks like, and was grateful for it’s existence. I have made decisions that I never thought I would have to make, but I had no other choice, because some situations called for a decision for the lesser of two evils. If I met me a few months ago, well, let’s not go there!
I have been humbled in so many different ways, but only recently realized that I WAS a snob (kind of). Not because I thought I was better than someone else (I hope), but because I categorized people under circumstances, not as people. If someone was in a certain situation, financially or otherwise, it must be a result of their own decisions, and sometimes it really is. HOWEVER, that does not make the situation less difficult, nor does it make a person “bad” and it certainly DOES NOT disqualify them from needing help or assistance; love or hope.
Separating a person from their life’s situation(s) is one of the most enlightening things I have learned in my recent contemplations. Admittedly, I have come to this realization by watching a show called, “Breaking Bad” (which totally rocks!) Sociologically speaking, I am so fascinated by what this man has done…how far desperation has driven him.
Very interesting…I have been in desperate situations as well, and have made choices that were not always the best. Guess what? That means I am human, not a “bad” person.
All of this time, I am ashamed of having to even admit that I have had difficulties, and stresses as deep as I have…I FEARED being judged by friends and family. That sort of reaction is familiar to me because…
I have looked my nose down on people, including some of my dearest friends. I have feared the same sort of response from friends and family…and I have gotten it in some cases. I realized I don’t want to be the type of person who is so judgemental of a PERSON based on a situation. Instead…Think first about the person, what they might be experiencing. Think about how you can help or encourage them. Extend a helping hand, without the shackles of judgement. Help ANYWAYS!
This, my friends, is what we call COMPASSION. And I want to start living a more compassionate life.