Books By Their Cover

Everyone is judgemental to some degree. You may not admit, but you and I are slaves to the notion of making assumptions about others, to comfort ourselves in knowing that we have some knowledge of their existence. This whole idea unraveled itself to me today.

I was walking in Walmart with my mother, our normal Sunday routine. I counted the reflections of light on the tile and gave in to my mother’s requests to get items we’d forgotten. We walked by a woman, mid-thirties. She was heavy set and had half of her hair died a dark purple. Yes, only half of it. Trailing behind her were 3 girls and a husband. After she was out of range, I let out a chuckle at her choice of hair color. It was not flattering.

About to leave, we passed the family again. I overheard the conversation. “When Mommy gets chemo, she might loose her hair and need to wear a mask,” she informs her young children. I couldn’t believe my ears. Had I just mocked a woman this strong, a woman who had to tell her kids she might not see them get married? I felt terrible. I should have said something, anything. But what was I to say about that to a complete stranger? I couldn’t just show up and wish her luck. I should not have judged her by her appearance. I’m a fair, caring person. Yet I did.

This is what Christmas is supposed to be, a time when we don’t judge based upon wealth or looks or age. We teach our kids that Santa loves you, whether you’re rich or poor, 10 years old or 90. He watches over you and your character. Santa is real, he is always with is. He’s that loving text from your significant other. He’s a hug from a friend. He’s knowing your dad loves you enough to quit smoking. He’s right there at the source of the blood pumping through your veins. That woman I saw means something great to this world. Maybe I don’t know her, but I wish the best to her for teaching me this lesson. I needed to be reminded.

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