I absolutely hate it when my son calls me out on something and teaches me a painful life lesson. The hard truth is, he has been doing this since he was 6 years old! Right now he is in that in-between age when he is old enough to go to war and die for his country but not old enough to drink a beer. This kid has never done anything by the book and has challenged every social norm we have ever been programmed to accept. He was studying Einstein in Kindergarten and described in detail how to build a time machine based on the Theory of Relativity. Science encyclopedias were his books of choice in first grade until he got in trouble for not reading the book “The Little Yellow Boat”. He failed middle school math because he refused to “show his work” even though he always got the right answer in seconds. “Showing his work” just slowed him down and wasted his time in his opinion. He wouldn’t allow his teachers to bully him into doing anything. The opinions of his “superiors” never mattered one single ounce to him. He was failing middle school science until the final on Space. His teacher said that when they finished the test, they could turn the page over and would get 1 extra credit point for each additional fact they could write down about space that was not covered on the final. He finished the test with a perfect score and wrote down 89 additional facts. His favorite days of the school year were the days they took standardized tests. He would never do homework – or busywork as he called it so his grades were terrible. He told me not to worry because ISTEP was coming up. On those test days he let it fly. He always ended up in the highest categories. I was called into the school multiple times because they didn’t know what to do with him. Finally, we pulled him out of school at the start of high school and home schooled him which was the saving grace for all of us. Now he is doing in things I never even knew were possible!
So, that is the back story. He came into my life to show me that you don’t have to follow the rules if those rules don’t make sense and taught me to question everything instead of just following the masses. We were out together the other day and he wanted me to stop at the gas station so he could get a snack. He went in, bought a large pop and a bag of chips with his own money and came back to the car. The first scornful words out of my mouth were, “well, that certainly isn’t very healthy!” Instead of doing what a normal person would have done and just internalize it, he immediately pointed out that I was being judgmental and he pointed it out sternly and repeatedly. He said such things as, “the next time I see you eating a snack, I will be sure to judge you about it” and “what good did it do you to spread such negative, toxic energy around?” At first I was furious that my son would speak to me so disrespectfully but then it occurred to me that he was right! I HATE when that happens!!! The more I thought about it, the more I understood how judgmental I really am. I was quite surprised because I am very conscious about NOT judging people. It has always been important to me that I try to understand where other people are coming from and not judge them for the way they do things. It’s really important to me to accept and value people for who they are. Social bullying is a real thing and it causes so much pain to people! Being made to feel like you are not acceptable because of the way you do something just breeds insecurity, distrust and sadness. It shouldn’t happen! I believe that with my whole heart so when he called me out on it and shoved it in my face that I was being judgmental, it really made me stop and think. I stepped outside of myself and watched how I reacted to things. I took notice of how many times I was judgmental in my mind even though I didn’t say anything out loud. It was shocking! I judged people on their driving skills, on their hairstyles, on their choice of clothing, on the words they used, and on and on and on! And don’t tell me you haven’t done the same thing! After I had a judgy thought, I would immediately correct myself on it, but the fact is, I had the thought to begin with. WHY??? Were any of those people hurting me or anyone else with their choice of driving technique, clothing or communication skills? No they weren’t. They were just living their lives. Did I know what their background was? Did I know why they made the choices they made. Did I know what they were experiencing at this particular moment in time? No I didn’t. None of us know what anyone else is going through so how are we qualified to be judgmental?
It’s not just little things that we judge either. How quick are we to jump on one side or the other of some worldwide conflict when we only have what facts are given to us by a one sided media? How quick are we to think we have all the facts on an issue when we haven’t done any research of our own? We just accept what we are spoon fed by the media and accept it as truth. The sad truth is, we will never have peace on earth as long as we hold judgement against one another in any form. Until we are able to leave judgement at the door and enter into each others lives with love and compassion, we will never be a peaceful world. We might tell ourselves that the warring world has nothing to do with us, that we can’t change what world governments are fighting about, but it does truly start with us. There is a saying that says, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” That is my new goal – to leave judgement at the door and to love and accept people for who they are. I am so grateful that my son convicted me of my crime. It is only by seeing something for what it is that we can acknowledge that it exists and change it. We have all been through so much trauma over the past couple of years. Let’s all make a choice to give each other a break. Let’s let go of the conflict and the judgement and the arguing and all the negative energy we have towards others. Let’s be the change and let’s make a change!
I love you all! Thanks for being here. It really does mean the world to me.