We are often presented with situations where we make a judgment. It could happen when someone is not friendly. It may occur when we are speaking to someone and their tone or timing is off. It may also take place when someone looks a certain way that causes us to form an opinion about them.  In fact, there are lots of examples, but we often make a decision about someone or a situation without all of the facts. I believe it’s important to try to give people the benefit of the doubt because things are not always as they appear. I know I have been quick to react or get my feelings hurt because I interpreted a situation incorrectly. It may be as simple as someone’s seemingly unfriendliness is because they are shy or are having a bad day. Curt responses or thoughtless words can be misinterpreted because of stresses or worries in someone’s life, which has nothing to do with the person with whom they are interacting. We are all probably too quick to make a determination about someone based on their appearance whether positive or negative. We are likely to point out faults in others we most see in ourselves.  But, looks can be deceiving on the surface. We don’t really know someone until we really get close to them.

So let’s see how we can all relate to one another better. Everyone wants to feel love and be cared for whether they show it or not. Human beings thrive on love and acceptance. We all want to feel included and welcomed. If we took time to understand one another more and think beyond ourselves, it would make our lives more satisfying and change the lives of others. When you want to believe that someone does like you or that they were not nice, there are probably a whole host of reasons behind it, which have nothing to do with you. So many feelings get hurt because people make assumptions or misjudge what is happening. I am not suggesting everyone has good intentions, but I do see that people can change when someone gives them a chance.

It’s hard to always take the higher ground and give people a chance, especially in this fast paced world. We can be rushed and careless with our interactions given everything we have to accomplish. Even with all of its benefits to make our lives easier and more connected, technology has contributed to our warped sense of reality, causing much confusion and worry given the transparency we have into one another’s lives. As a result, we constantly judge and feel judged. We think what we see on the internet or on social media portrays a true story. Somehow, the grass looks greener on the other side. We have to ignore much of what we see on that front and just be mindful to slow it down, take a breath, think before we react, be a more accepting and to not take it personally. And when we misstep, all we can do is look forward, recalibrate and do and be better the next time. We are evolving — even as adults — so it’s never too late for change. The human spirit is both strong and fragile at the same time.

There are enough challenges in life than to create unnecessary ones so let’s strive for harmony. People don’t often think that they can make a difference because most problems are too big to tackle singlehandedly or they don’t want to be bothered. However, showing empathy for someone else can make big shifts in our world. Instead of saying something negative, we should try to diffuse the situation, choose kindness and lead with love. We can only do that if we feel confident in our own selves. Negativity, doubt, and judgment not only drag another person down, but those feelings can have detrimental effects on our own lives if we languish in them.

My hope is that through my writing, I can effect positive change and help us remember that we all have the same needs — well being, security, happiness and acceptance. It’s a challenge to take the higher ground or to have the courage to do what is right. But, at the end of the day, we have to live with ourselves and the decisions we make. It is my belief that we create a greater sense of peace and contentment when we are compassionate and understanding. With that, it’s hard to be everything to everyone and we should accept we do not need to be. So when others show up in a way that is less than what we need or want, don’t judge. Just love.

Roopa Weber
About Roopa Weber
Roopa Weber is a first time children’s book author who has created the Penny the Peacock series. Roopa’s inspiration for Penny came from the values and love provided by her mother. She wanted to find an avenue to instill her mother’s wisdom in her own daughter and carry the message forward generationally. And, so she wrote.