We are Green Bay Packers fans and living in the Chicago area among Bears fans can have its moments. I was actually punched on my shoulder twice the last week (hard, not just a tap) by guests at my job hearing of my alliance. My youngest son could not believe this. Punched? Yes, punched. How old were these people, he asked me. Middle-aged and both were women. Go figure!
I watched Obama's State of the Union Address last night and it made a positive impact. I really liked how the Democrats and Republicans were for once sitting side-by-side and the overall atmosphere seemed less contentious. Why are we such a contentious and judgmental society anyway? I asked my sister at the memorial for my dad why she has been so distant to me the past few years and her comment was that she has been too judgmental of me. She acknowledged that this is her issue and something that she has to work on. I left it at that but am curious why she has had such problems with me. I've been a poor, struggling mother. In my eyes someone deserving of some compassion not judgment.
Yet all of us seem to always want to be right. In the end what does it all matter? We should all try and be on the same side. Like what happened last night. We're all Americans and I think all of us want basically the same goals.
I have said it numerous times but will briefly say it again that widowhood has made me so much more aware of how judgmental people can be. Even I myself. Over the years I have received so many criticisms of how I have parented, grieved and lived my life. It has seemed that people in general feel more free to criticize because I am on my own if that makes any sense. When I had a husband by my side no one dared say some of the words I have heard. It was like being married provided me with an invisible protective screen around me. But that all aside, I know I have made a huge effort to be less judgmental and more kind since my husband's death. And my divorce.
I read somewhere that before speaking we should take care to make sure our words are "thoughtful, deliberate, kind and empathetic." We shouldn't be so hasty and quick to say the first things out of our mouths but take a moment to step back and consider our responses. We don't always have to agree but can disagree more kindly. Or at least give people more benefit of the doubt and reserve our judgment more often than not.