Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Passing Judgment

I make a sincere effort not to judge the actions of others. I'm aware, most of the time, that I don't have the information to evaluate a choice that someone else is making for herself or for her family. I don't know the circumstances. I don't know the struggles. I try, but today, I failed.

I was on the way to pick up the children from school. There was a car driving next to me down a fairly busy road. The woman behind the wheel had her phone in plain sight and was just texting away. Texting while driving was dangerous for her, for the rest of us on the road, and for the infant riding in her backseat. When my children were that small I sometimes felt nervous even having them in the car at all - I cannot imagine deciding it would be okay to text while I drove with my baby in the car.

I know people do this sort of thing all the time, and I believe it is a universally bad idea, but something about seeing that infant in the backseat just made me so angry with that woman.

A bit further down the road I ended up behind the same car. I was consciously leaving extra space between us, worried that she would cause an accident by not seeing someone stopped in front of her. Just before pulling up to school I wound up close enough behind her, at a stoplight, to see the little sign she had hanging in her back window. It was the shape of those "Baby on Board" signs, but it was black and it said, "If you don't like my driving, *%&$@ off." Lovely.

I'll admit it - I completely judged this woman. I judged her driving habits and I judged the fact that she chose to publicly display those words. And I made assumptions about what kind of mother she might be.

I know we need to be kind to each other, I KNOW. I know most of us are just doing the best we can.

Still, I can't get that baby out of my head.


MamaK said...

the older I get, the more I make assumptions based on the language people choose to display... and it shocks me when they're parents!

Jill said...

There's a difference between discernement and judging. Good for you for realizing you went over the line. A lot of us don't realize we're doing it. But at least it's not like you ran her down and told her off or anything. That's where using judgement as a weapon gets us in trouble.