Confession time. I am very judgmental. If you have been reading for a while, you will know that I have said this before. That's because it's something I struggle with.
Most might say I am this way because I feel superior to others. In fact, it's the opposite. Again, if you have read previous posts, you will notice that I don't trust my decisions. Ever.
Anyhow, the point of my post (there is one, I swear).
Tonight I was at the grocery store. I had just received some news that made me sad. Followed by a conversation with my sister that was a small slap in the face of the "old" Leslie that I miss. Bottom line, I was having a pity party for one. Big time.
So anyhow. I was gathering my quick necessities: bread, milk, diapers, etc. As I was checking out, the woman in front of me had a cart load. She had a daughter, who was maybe 3, who was behaving as most 3 year olds do. She also had 2 sons...one was maybe 6. Again, behaving as most 6 year olds do, and an older son, who was autistic (this is not my own diagnosis...I heard her say it to the clerk.
Moving along. Her groceries were all rung up. The clerk gave her the total. She swiped her bridge card (oooh, judgment!) and found out that the money that is allotted to her monthly was not put on the card. She had no idea. I glanced in her cart. Like me, she had the necessities: eggs, milk, etc. I saw the look of defeat in her eyes. I watched her ponder what the heck she was supposed to do as her kids ran all around and she tried to rally them up. I watched as she glanced at her card, then at her kids to try to get them to sit still, then back at her card, and then to her groceries.
I was sad for her. Our money is very tight, too. She had about $100 of groceries, and I did not have $100 to give her. The clerk told her she could void it all out, and she could leave the cart of freshly bagged groceries and they would be restocked. The girl had no choice but to accept this offer. I quietly leaned forward and said "Ma'am?" She turned to look at me, then quickly apologized for her daughter who was bouncing around me. I looked at her daughter and quickly said, "Oh! She is not bothering me! I don't have the money to pay for all of your groceries, but I will help you get some of them, please let me help you."
Wanna know what she said? She said "no, thank you." Then I heard her say to the clerk, "I will be back whenever the money is deposited. It has been a rough day. My kids are being unruly, I have no one to help me watch them, and some stranger just yelled at me for my son, who has autism, for standing in the middle of the aisle." This whole while, she was so calm and collected. Never lost her temper, never shed a tear, just did what she had to do.
She thanked me for my offer, but insisted I not help her, because again, "the money would be there, it just wasn't there yet."
Now my point of this post. As I was drowning in my sorrows, at first glance, I could have seen her as the single mom of misbehaving kids, paying with her bridge card, and my quick assuming mind, could ASSUME that she was likely unemployed, and here I was, after working hours in a very busy clinic, stretching pennies of my own, and here SHE was, holding up the line. This wasn't even the case AT ALL but you had to pay attention to notice. It's not in my natural behavior to take the time for that. I am constantly in a "go, go, go, and please, get out of my way" mentality.
In general, I have just felt a huge sense of anger and hatred amongst most people lately. People being close-minded and disrespectful. A complete lack of personal accountability and the constant desire to place blame. Hate crimes are running RAMPANT and frankly, it scares me to death.
I truly believe that a lot of this would be resolved, if people would just stop feeling the need to pass judgement.