There is a quote that floats around the internet that says “Don’t judge people for the choices they make when you don’t know the options they had to choose from” This is spot on. We can sit and assume so many reasons for why people make choices, but we truly don’t know why. Most people won’t tell you their reasons because, frankly, it’s none of our business, but mostly because to divulge this information can be too personal, too emotional, too complicated to share. So instead, we gossip to others about someone’s choices and before you know it, there are half-truths and lies floating around about another person because we were too busy assuming and judging. Because, surely we would NEVER do that, so there must be something wrong with them.
We must try to remember that what a decision looks like on the outside, isn’t always the whole picture. There can be many, many layers beneath a situation that will not be revealed to us so we must trust that others are making the best decision for their lives with the knowledge and the information that they presently have.
It’s okay to offer our insight and point of view IF ASKED, but until we are asked, we should always respect others’ rights to make decisions based upon their available choices. We should not say that we would NEVER make the same decision, because unless we are in fact that person, the likelihood of us being faced with the same exact options are practically nonexistent. We will always be faced with our own unique options and choices, and we will need to make decisions regarding our own lives that may or may not be popular with those around us.
We should not be judgmental, instead, be empathetic and compassionate towards others as they make decisions in their lives that affect themselves and those around them. If they ask us for advice, do so lovingly and compassionately. Find out what options they are facing, what choices they have been faced with, and what the possible outcomes of those choices could potentially be. If they are genuinely seeking our counsel, then it is our responsibility to help guide them through their decision making process, seeking their best interests and not our own.
It’s easy to judge another’s decision, yet we will get angry if someone judges our own. We will shout loudly that people don’t understand our unique situation, so why wouldn’t we offer this same consideration for others?
We all have similar situations and similar circumstances, but the reality is this, each of us are separate individuals and have our own set of perceptions, beliefs, values, and ideals. It is with these unique characteristics that we face our life choices. What we expect of others, we should surely put in practice ourselves.
Have a great day!