I recently met someone who at first brought along a lot of butterflies and soft images… But one day, out of nowhere, he also brought judgment… Judgment on how I should have or should not have behaved, judgment on my choices and the way I choose to live my life, and judgment on events and actions that were not even recollected correctly. At first it was obviously really painful and I wanted to be given an opportunity to defend myself. But then I realized that I actually did not… If someone was going to judge me so quickly and was not even willing to have a calm conversation with me about it, then I really did not feel the need to waste any energy trying to explain or justify myself. I mean if you want to attack me, I will more likely walk away than defend myself… Because I don’t really want to have anything to do with someone who thinks he can simply verbally attack me.


The thing is, I believe in empathy…

You know, that’s the ability to actually put yourself in someone else’s shoes and try to see how they possibly perceive things… And I also believe that “human actions are limited and determined by their ‘environment.’ Human beings become what they are at any given moment not by their own free decisions taken rationally and in full knowledge of the conditions, but under the pressure of circumstances which delimit their range of choice and which also fix their objectives and the standards by which they make their choices” (taken from a psychology text book years ago). Which to me, means that we all do the best we can with what ‘life’ has given us. There is nothing sad about it. Simply put, someone who grew up in let’s say Farmville, NC, will probably have a different outlook on life than someone who grew up in Amsterdam, Bangkok, or Johannesburg…

And I am choosing to believe that they are each choosing to live their lives the best way possible for them, taking in perspective their past, their culture (whether national or familial), their stories and the environment they grew up in, and all the little things that happened to them in the past and that brought them to this present moment.


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