As I've gotten older, I've perhaps become a bit more wise when it comes to judging people. I see it happen every day, though. Decisions on the type of person someone is, are often made after just a glance. No conversation. No background information. Just a glance. Imagine if this had happened to, say, Snow White. She ran away from home at a young age and took up with 7 men! She exchanged household favors for goodness knows what. And, just where did those favors end? Now, if you actually get inside of Snow White's day, you see she cooked and cleaned for these men. In return, they offered her safety from her wicked step-mother. But, if you don't go there, if you only glance from outside, she's a good girl gone bad.
I think I've always tried to instill in my kids that there are most often reasons we don't know or understand why folks make the decisions they do. For instance, a daughter of an alcoholic may never invite a friend to her home. Is she rude? Not a good friend? Perhaps it looks that way. And, some may shun her. If, however, they got in her life, they'd see the truth. A teenage boy chooses to celebrate New Year's Eve with his mother instead of hang out with his friends. Was it even his choice? Maybe he and his mother have a New Year's tradition. Maybe he's not really the weird kid his friends think he is. Another teenage boy eagerly spends the weekends with this grandparents instead of staying home and hanging out with his friends. Is he out of his mind? Or, is there something going on in his home that he desperately needs to get away from? Something that doesn't happen at his grandparents'?
Things aren't always as they seem. People's actions can have a reason behind them you'd never consider. I will continue to urge my kids to really know their friends. To become the kind of person who is kind and non-judgmental. To give folks the benefit of the doubt before they jump to conclusions and make a situation worse for anyone. I know this is a hard concept for kids. After all, creating controversy for others takes the spotlight off of you. Plainly, kids need the guidance from their parents on this. Unfortunately, there are quite a few who don't get it.