In my line of work, I meet an interesting array of people. Each person has their own story. Granted, I only get to speak to each person for a brief period of time each day, it does make get me thinking that maybe we really don’t know as much as we think we do.
Every person in this world judges. Whether they want to admit or not. Every person sees someone else and predetermines what kind of person they are, whether good or bad. I have had a number of personal experiences in this job alone that have significantly proven that first impressions are NOT everything.
It gets me wondering how much we really know. We all think that we have it worse than someone else. But what if there was someone out there who DID have it worse and made it better all on their own. Does that make them scary? Does that make them less of a person? I had a personal experience with this. I had a gentleman call the salon one day when I first started out there. I was alone in the salon while my co-worker was out marketing. The gentleman was very direct and to the point in an almost scary manner. He was simply asking where we were located and if we had specific tanning packages, but there was something about the way he spoke that made me nervous. I saw him come walking around the corner and towards the salon, and I positioned myself directly in front of the emergency panic button with my hand hovering over it. He walked in, said a few words and immediately walked out as his cell phone was ringing. I grew even more nervous and hoped that he would just leave. He did not. When his phone call was over, he re-entered the salon. He was a little rougher looking than the normal cliental of the salon, but he wore a smile. Though I was still nervous, I followed “new person” protocol and had him sign in and I went over package information with him. He decided to sign up for one of our memberships which completely surprised me. Since he is one of our members, I see him several times a week and have gotten to speak with him plenty. I could not have been more wrong about this particular individual. It almost makes me sick to my stomach that I was so quick to judge and fear him. He has such a powerful spirit and such faith in Christ that it’s moving. He has had such a hard past and yet he still keeps such a positive outlook on life. I could learn a lot from him.
He was once married. His marriage ended due to their lack of willingness to compromise. He has given me such meaningful advice about entering into marriage that I know I’ll carry with me forever. When his marriage ended, his life came unraveling with it. He was a raging alcoholic, lost his job, car, house, everything. This time last year he was at rock bottom. He found Christ and has pulled himself up by his bootstraps. He now runs a very successful business as a handy man. He can fix just about everything! He drives a beat up old honda that barely runs, but it’s his. Alcohol has not touched his lips since September! He is such a kind, fun-loving person. His faith is unwavering. He has finally found his priorities, and he’s making it work.
If only everyone could meet a person like Handy (we’ll call him Handy) in their lifetime. They would certainly re-think their outlook on life. We are all so lazy all of the time. We take our gifts for granted and assume that everything will just happen on it’s own. God granted Handy with the gift of knowledge and craftiness. He is finally putting his gift to good use. He is honest and honorable.
It was just simply amazing to me how quickly I judged Handy (or anyone for that matter). I actually look forward to his visits to the salon every day. He brings a bubble of sunshine with him each time. Though our conversations are often short and shallow, they matter to me, and I hope they matter to him.
So my advice to you is to seriously pause for a second before you make that unwarranted judgement. You could be so wrong. In fact–most of the judgements we make in life are wrong. A lot can be learned from people who differ from you.