Isn't people watching fun? At a mall, a library, the beach, in church, wherever people gather. It's interesting to note the various clothes they wear, the way they walk and talk and carry themselves, their hairstyles, their attitudes.
Imagine for a moment that you were asked to judge people's personalities by these type of factors. Could you do it?
An except from the upcoming book, "The Search for the Authentic Self" by Erica Boucher, has a particularly interesting excerpt that asks readers to watch people and notice the almost automatic tendency to make judgments about them.
She asks observers to feel how they have been trained to judge, to make others wrong somehow, or less important or even better than us in some way. We automatically categorize others in our minds.
But if we could peel away the outer layers to reveal the true person inside, who would we see? A person brought up in a caring, supportive environment who posses a healthy self-image
or one who was neglected and never received positive reinforcement, leading to a lack of self-esteem
Those of us who are or were overweight know what it is like to be judged unfairly solely on our appearance, to hurt from the senseless comments and stares of other people. Oh, sure, many overweight people became famous -- Jackie Gleeson, Carol O'Connor (Archy Bunker), singer Kate Smith and others -- but what of the overweight people who are not celebrities?
For them, they are judged, not by their comedic abilities or singing voices, but by their lack of ability to fit within one tiny airplane seat (see TSABONIS's blog at: www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
or in a restaurant booth, or in a swim suit.
These superficial judgments do not penetrate the outer layers of a person's physical self to reveal their personality, their skills and abilities, passions, commitment to helping others, skill in writing or cooking or playing a musical instrument or compassion in caring for the wounded and infirm.
It's sad that the world is so quick to judge because of a person's appearance. But, as author Boucher suggests: Shine the light of compassion on people, energetically embracing them
, seeing them as another innocent soul.
Do this with everyone who walks by regardless of size, shape, color, behavior, social status or attitude. Feel how loving others results in true joy as we let down our walls of separation and our defenses and as we stop judging others.
Judge not lest we be judged.
As true today as it was thousands of years ago.