She crosses the parking lot at a slow pace. For a moment she’s forgotten where’s she’s parked. She looks up to see a man taking her picture. A moment in time, not a good representation of her life but one that will remain forever in the eyes of those who view it.
What are your first impressions about her? She’s old, alone, lost, confused? She isn’t smiling so she must not be very nice.
We see people for brief moments at a time and, as we do, we judge them. We try to figure them out in that small window of time and categorize where we think they belong.
When we do this, we never get the whole story, the bigger picture of the one we so hastily judge.
We will never know that this woman was once a singer and a dancer – we will never know that she has stories to tell that people would pay to hear. We will never know unless we take the time to ask her – to talk with her and let her tell her story.
We all have stories tell, especially the ones that our society so quickly loves to judge. We also have chosen to put unworthy people at the forefront of our national consciousness for reasons unknown. Over the weekend, Kim Kardashian announced that she will be publishing a book of selfies – all yours for only $19.95. Wow.
Back to the woman we met at the top of the story – you know her. “No I don’t,” you say, “I have no idea who she is!” To that I say, bet you do. Here she is in a photo from her younger days.
And to think, you could have met Doris Day.
To further my point, I am sending you to a short video about those we most often judge harshly, homeless people. Please watch it and be surprised as you learn the stories behind the faces of homelessness.
Oh, and next time…don’t be so quick to judge. I know I won’t.