Don’t waste time judging others

Larena Hernandez

Working in retail — bridal wares, in particular — I deal with all sorts of customers. Excited couples in the “honey-moon” phase, people who want free stuff, snobs, single girls searching for a ring and maybe a few normal people. No matter how polite or insane they may be, I have to happily assist these customers with purchases they are trying to make, and with a big smile! “The customer is always right.”

I don’t believe that. However, I am forced to comply with this rule, though I must say that there are worse jobs and I’m grateful that I have one. But recently I encountered a woman who truly offended me.

She has been a customer for the past 20 years, and came in to purchase a tennis bracelet. She asked if I was married. I replied, “No, not yet.” She asked as if she were confused, “Didn’t you say you have a son?” I informed her I do have a son and been with his father for the past eight years and that we were high school sweethearts.

“I had a friend like that and I told her that they had better not bring another little bastard into this world out of wedlock,” she stared with a painted-on smile. “I’ll pray for you two.”

Not only have I never been talked to that way, but to be talked down by a stranger was especially insulting. I was speechless and caught off-guard. I didn’t know what to say. First reaction was to snap back, but I was on the clock and my job is more important, so I did not. I simply replied with, “Well everyone is different.” Had I said more, I would not have been so cordial.

That mindless comment lingered in the back of my mind as I worked that busy Sunday. What business of hers as to whether or not people are married, with a child? Some people have no respect and that can go for any age, race, gender or class. Society has come a long way and whether one is married or not with a child should not mean that they are less of a person. While many have their beliefs about sex before marriage and waiting to have children until marriage, those beliefs do not pertain to everyone on the planet.

I don’t go around pushing my views and beliefs on others and I certainly don’t want others doing that to me. It is disrespectful and invasive. What you believe is right may not be right to someone else. For this woman to act as if she were superior to myself, or just holier than thou, you would think that she would be humble enough to respect my lifestyle, beliefs and choices.

I truly welcome enlightenment and new ideas, but I don’t appreciate an approach in such a scrutinizing manner. Why do people push their views on others? How do they know that they are right and you are wrong? They don’t. Doesn’t the Bible state that only God can judge? Sounds a bit hypocritical if you ask me. No one is perfect. It is not up to us to place the blame on others, but to help them.

Is there a right way of how one goes about relationship status’ or choices? My answer is no, yet I am sure some may disagree, that is fine.

We are all naturally judgmental, even if we are not trying to be. It may not be to the extent of the story I told, but I too am guilty of this from time to time.

Catch yourself if you find that you are doing this and put yourself in that person’s shoes. What would you do? How would you handle it? Would anyone else’s opinion bother you? I am sure that it would. There is no one way to live, act, dress or talk.

Our society is so diverse that you have to be open-minded and accepting.