There is an old saying, “now ain’t that the pot calling the kettle black”. I don’t get to use this often as I’ve gotten to a point in life where other’s opinions really aren’t worth my brain cells. And often even when we have opinions about others, they aren’t willing or open to seeing another side of things so why bother.
However, a recent situation has caused me to press “pause” on my nonchalant attitude and get into this with a friend. Here’s what happened…I will try to be brief while protecting the identities of those involved.
A recent situation occurred with an acquaintance of me and a friend. Other than dealing with the situation (one of many) straight on, this friend brings the complaint to me. Typically, I would tell anyone to fight their own battles but since this situation also affected me, I choose to address it. So I addressed the issue with this acquaintance, and an immediate remedy was implemented. Now I don’t know if it was my request or simply that this person was done with the task that was annoying me and my friend. Either way, I thanked the acquaintance and felt good that I was an adult and dealt with the situation while displaying dignity, honor and respect.
Well as it turns out, my friend’s opinion is far more jaded than mine and my friend feels that the acquaintance hates us and does not respect us. Now this was a shock because the friend went on to say that if you do good, good will come to you as if this acquaintance went out of their way to be disrespectful to us because we are hated by this person. That totally blew my mind for several reasons:
1 – my friend has NEVER spoken to this acquaintance. Even when there were other situations, the friend has not ever spoken to the acquaintance or bothered to address it. I get the complaints but never any direct action by my friend.
2 – my friend is a minority as is the acquaintance and I would have surely thought that with just that little fact, my friend would be less judgmental toward someone else.
3 – what pot are you stewing in whereby you can make an assessment that someone hates you because they do things that you consider inconsiderate and in this particular case not neighborly at all?
It occurred to me that my friend should take a serious look in the mirror and realize that not everyone is cut from the same cloth. We all have different views on what and how things should or should not be done. In addition, I’m of the opinion, that people just sometimes do stupid stuff that can come across as insensitive, disrespectful, and downright rude.
Ultimately, in my maturity, I have learned not to internalize the action of others as a direct attack on me personally. On the contrary, I honestly do believe that people (in this case younger people) don’t think or care about others enough to really assess how what they are doing will affect their “neighbor”. That does not make it right but it surely keeps me from “hating” someone that I deem hates me when I haven’t bothered to get to know the other person. So, to my friend I said, not to judge unless you want to be judged. The acquaintance may just be cut from a different cloth. The baggage that we carry throughout life doesn’t get unpacked and filled with new stuff just because our situation or status changes.
The world would be a better place and life’s stresses easier to manage if we all just took a look at our own actions and saw how we may be calling the kettle black when our own pots are stained.