Whom do you look down upon? (The Sandbox Writing Challenge)
My first inclination when I read this prompt was to laugh. It’s hard for me to look “down” on anyone as I’m only 5’3″.. 😀 “Looking down on” is a hard concept for me to describe. I earnestly try never to look down on people. I remind myself constantly, “Don’t judge!” Sometimes I do well with that, sometimes I suck at it. I get irritated as all get out when the first thing about people certain members of my family notice is someone’s appearance. Makes me nuts! I find people who are externally oriented like that to be shallow and likely not someone I’d chose as a friend.
“Don’t judge!” My time tutoring for the school district where I worked with a lot of migrant workers’ kids taught me I can’t POSSIBLY know what a person’s story is if I haven’t listened to them, then walked a mile in their shoes (figuratively). Kids are so candid and have a way of boiling things down to the meat of matters.
“Don’t judge!” Working at the Crisis Pregnancy Center was also an eye opener for me. You THINK you know what a girl’s story will be. She got knocked up, didn’t she? Doesn’t that mean she’s foot loose and fancy free? I found out quickly, nope, it doesn’t. Behind every one of those girls was a child needing, searching, willing to give up the most precious thing in their life for five minutes of feeling close to someone.
My point is, I’ve been schooled more than a few times in my own uppityness. Enough times to know I’d better shut up first and listen before I draw any conclusions. On further reflection I realized the people I look down on are the ones who deliberately HURT OR DAMAGE another person in some way. Not talking about accidentally hurting someone’s feelings, or even being a crappy parent (because we all learn to parent as we’ve been parented and sometimes it’s hard to break out of those habits if they’re not healthy).
No. I’m talking about someone who knowingly and determinedly sets about to hurt someone. My opinion of them is that there’s something wrong with their soul. Is it something that can be fixed? Maybe yes, maybe no. But even THAT isn’t up to me to judge. All I know is I really dislike (which may be too mild of a word for my feelings) people like that. And there’s a part of me that feels like their punishment should definitely fit the crime. I know that sounds an awful lot like “an eye for an eye” philosophy, but I don’t care. I can’t apologize for feeling that way. Do I feel guilty about it? Sometimes yes, but there it is, nonetheless.
We were meant to live in relationship with others, and when we violate that precept we violate the law of love. And that’s the bottom line for me…