By Maleesa Johnson
In a decade where people feel the need to upload pictures of their coffee, outfits and themselves, it has become easy to fall into a pattern of judgment.
Go to Starbucks and you may hear what I heard the other day. “Oh my God, she uploaded another picture of herself.” I would be willing to bet money the conversation was followed up with an Instagram picture of her Pumpkin Spice Latte.
See what I did there? I judged. I own up to the fact that I do it all the time. Please do not read this and think, “Wow, for someone telling us not to judge she is really judgy.” I get it. Just consider it learning from my mistakes.
Everyone judges. It is almost impossible not to. What really matters is how we deal with it.
For example, if you saw a guy doing something like texting and riding a bike and watched as they ran into tree, what would you do? I would probably internally judge them for their poor choice. However, I would not go up to the wounded rider and blame his bruises on him.
I would like to think anyone watching the event transpire would help the him and ask if everything was OK.
Telling the bike rider what he did wrong is not going to help the wounds go away. Additionally, it probably wouldn’t keep him from texting and biking. The bruises should be enough to keep him from doing that.
This seems like a silly scenario, but things like this happen all the time. Something similar happened to Janay Rice, Ray Rice’s wife. On Sept. 8, video footage surfaced of Baltimore Raven’s Ray Rice punching and knocking Janay unconscious.
The responses to the atrocity varied from a push to fire NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, suspending Rice and, oddly enough, a verbal attack toward Janay.
Through the entire situation, Janay stood by her husband and though she did not defend his actions, she defended him. Somehow, people took this as their cue to begin judging and shaming her. Some tweeted that she was weak. Others told her to leave her husband and questioned how on earth she could stay with him.
Others went on to psychoanalyze her and post their musings. All the while, people ignored one very important thing: she is a victim, pained by the situation, and these verbal affronts are only exacerbating the situation.
People were going up to the texting bike rider and kicking him instead of helping him onto his feet.
This behavior, unfortunately, is not limited to the Rice issue. Check your Facebook or Twitter feed if you don’t believe me. The phrases, “Oh he just wants attention,” or “She was asking for it,” are dropped on a daily basis.
People gain nothing from saying these things. Furthermore, they are hurting people who are already hurt.
Abstaining from judging people, while a pure goal, is a lofty one. We can work up to that. For now, let’s take baby steps by stopping hurtful words before they deepen others’ wounds.
Maleesa Johnson is a junior journalism major from Round Rock. She is the news editor for the Lariat.