This I Believe

Sarah - Olathe, Kansas
Entered on April 11, 2007

To Judge Or Not To Judge

I believe that judgment is something that gets in the way of your impression of someone. When I met Brittani at the beginning of my club volleyball season, I immediately thought that she would be the gossiping troublemaker on the team. She walked into practice wearing a Hollister sweatshirt, twirling her hair, chomping gum, and talking on the phone to her friend about the newest guy that she met last weekend at a party. She was also unnaturally tan and her long wavy brown hair that is usually straightened. She works at Hollister, a trend-filled clothing store, (as I could see from her lack of non-Hollister clothing) and she is always talking about her newest fling with a new boy. Right away, I thought, “Oh great, my team is going to be filled with a bunch of drama with Brittani and her friends that she has played with in past years.”

After a few practices, I realized that even if Brittani was unnaturally tan or cliquish or straightens her already gorgeous light brown hair, so what? She is on my team and we have to get along. Throughout the next couple of practices, and with the help of get-to-know-you activities, I realized that Brittani was not the way that I expected. Yes, she is tan and works at Hollister, but she is also funny and welcoming and she likes to listen to music and dace really crazy (along with everyone else on my team and the coaches), but most of all, she is a typical teenager trying to find herself in our celebrity-obsessed world. That is one more lesson learned for me. Do not judge or automatically assume what someone’s character is like based on their appearance or first words to you. After all, you know how the saying goes, within the first 5 minutes of meeting someone, they have already formed an opinion on you. Who am I or anyone else to judge wither or not she deserves that purse or those clothes? Judgment is the forming of an opinion, estimate, notion, or conclusion, as from circumstances presented to the mind, like an someone’s appearance. Why should we be able to assume anything about anyone based on their appearance? However, judgment faces everyone in their life. When you meet or see someone new, you immediately make assumptions about their life and most of the time you are wrong. I believe (and it is hard to follow through with) that you should not judge someone based on appearance, but find out who someone is based on how they act and what they say.