I was with a client in a coffee shop recently and a mom came in with an older gentleman and a child, about two years old. The adults were conversing, the child was staying nearby, very well behaved… and with a pacifier in his mouth.
Walking past their table to the bathroom and back, when I returned to my client, I commented, “In the past, I would have been critical of a child that age with a pacifier, but I love that I am able to not have an opinion about some things, now.”
The truth of the matter is that there are plenty of things in my own life that others could be (have been) critical of without knowing all the contributing circumstances. Certain ways I am conducting myself at present might bring others’ questions or misunderstandings. Definitely, decisions made in the past have been questioned by others. They are not of any consequence to mention here, really. Just simple things that others have, at times, assumed, negatively, about me or my actions or my family.
Life gives perspective.
Experience broadens the view. A child with a disability. Offspring with addictions. A niece committing suicide. A friend with a surprising reality in a marriage. Medical issues. Family stresses. Differences of opinions. Hurt feelings. Harsh criticism.
Going through real life experiences and having background on my own personal events makes having an opinion about someone else’s life a bit ludicrous.
We can be kinder to one another when we are real about how our own lives may appear to someone without all the information. There is just not enough time or energy to be critical of others. Especially of those we don’t even know.