I believe that one should not judge another until he or she has walked in that person’s shoes. It is never fair nor right to ridicule another person. Since I am a senior in high school, I have seen my fair share of unhygienic or unpopular kids. Unfortunately, these young adults are the ones being gossiped about behind their backs. Of course, the kids that make fun of others are the ones who think they are better off. Little do these bullies understand that the person they have made fun of could have recently experienced their parent’s divorce, lost a relative, or had a catastrophic incident happen.
I never really understood what it was like to judge someone before understanding his or her life until one day when I was writing my sophomore year research paper on Elvis Presley. I had asked my father for assistance to begin my paper. I asked him for assistance because I wanted a good grade and that was all. I did not care to know or understand Elvis’s life. Little did I imagine that I would become so involved in my paper. I was baffled to find out Elvis essentially committed suicide with prescription medicine. I could not grasp how someone who had so much money and fame could commit such an act. I asked my dad, “Dad, why would he do something like that? He had a wife and kids and fame.” Instead of giving me a reason for why he committed suicide, he gave me another reason.
My dad replied, “You cannot judge a person until you have walked in their shoes.” Although, I thought about what he had said, I forgot the statement until the other day when my best friend and I, along with another friend, went to the mall. We were on our way home when my best friend disclosed she did not like a certain girl. She said that the girl acted annoying on purpose and there was no reason for that as a senior in high school. The other friend with us defended her saying that she has had a hard life because of her parent’s divorce and that we would never understand all that she has went through. Essentially, in defending the other girl, he made assumptions about my best friend and my family, and that we hadn’t encountered our own obstacles. After we dropped him off at his house, I told her that he had no right to assume that we had never been through any obstacle like that. She agreed. Now I understood what my dad had meant when he said, “Don’t judge someone until you have walked in his or her shoes.”
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.