he conceited thing I have to tell you is that the older I get, the more I am constantly reminded of how right I am about people.
I’ve now had over 50 years of experience. Much of that time has been spent being judgmental, cynical and sarcastic. I’m not proud of those character flaws, but they have often served their purpose in my quest to protect myself from the evils of the world.
I heard a great quote the other day: “I am a fan of humanity, just not humans.” I’m getting T-shirts printed if you are interested.
We as humans are a selfish lot, aren’t we? When it gets right down to it, we care about our own comfort, how we look, how we are accepted, where we fit in and so on. If we have genuine moments of selflessness, we might find it easier to go that route once in awhile. Some people have been gifted with that selfless spirit, of which I am envious.
There is a population of people I’m not entirely happy with right now, and I doubt they care much. They are worldly people, who seem to only care about appearances and being comfortable. These people make snap judgements based on appearances, and they pass this mentality on to their children. These people go by first or second impressions.
Because these people are afraid someone might find out they are less than perfect, they are afraid to really invest in people and do life with them. Therefore, the lives of these people are based entirely on how much stuff they have, how good they look, how comfortable they are, how happy their kids are, and how the world makes them feel.
Nobody wants to really have a relationship anymore. Nobody wants to be vulnerable or depend on others.
These people lack depth. These people lack heart. These people are rarely interested in other people. They are more worried about how everyone looks and makes them feel.
Oops. I already said that.
These people are happy and content when other people fit into their ideals and their categories.
These people typically love teachers, coaches and other people who work with kids as long as they hop around, make things look pretty, and make their kids happy. As long as the kids get good grades, compliments, or feel good, it doesn’t matter if that person is good and thorough at what they actually do.
I speak from experience. I will tell you I didn’t have much of an idea of what I was doing when I started teaching over 30 years ago. I have almost completely changed my approach to teaching, and oh how I wish I could go back and have a do over with many of my students.
However, because I was an elementary school teacher and because I was a tad creative with some new and snappy ideas, people thought I was great. I also had the luxury of being a male. There were times, even when I made mistakes, I could do no wrong.
I can tell you right now that I wasn’t always doing a good job teaching. Sure, I was hopping around, decorating my classroom to look inviting, singing songs and telling jokes; however, I wasn’t always digging in and really teaching. I sure hope some of my earlier students learned a few things despite my ineptness.
It’s a shame we go by first impressions and appearances as much as we do, because it’s my opinion that we miss the boat with many people. We judge right out of the gate. We watch someone a little bit and think we have them figured out. We form our opinions and there’s no changing them.
These people are like that. Because they don’t like how a person looks or how a person sounds, and because they get rubbed the wrong way and don’t like how people come across, they go ahead and label that person. They say “I don’t like that person’s demeanor. He isn’t like the others. She doesn’t fit into what I envision she should be. My kids have this negative perspective of that person and I consider their opinion the gospel truth. His posture bugs me. She made this comment, and I think she’s like this.”
Now, boys and girls, it’s been my experience in these many years that I am dead wrong about some people. There are people I thought I’d really like from the get go, only to find out later they were a pain in the patootie. There are people I couldn’t quite get at first, only to have them endear themselves to me later. There are people I couldn’t stand and considered enemies, who later became friends.
I only hope people can say the same about me. Oh how I hope that grace and mercy have been extended to me somewhat before people write me off completely.
My point is this: we must give people chances. Good gracious, folks. Why do we move at breakneck speed when it comes to accepting people? Why are we so quick to judge, categorize, and file away? Is it because of that need we have for everything to be easy and comfortable? In a way, it’s quite a dangerous mentality.
Shame on us.
All of the things I said above should not be taken as me wagging my finger at you. I’m just like everyone else.
It’s not fair. We all do it. We’ve got to stop.