Sunday, September 26, 2010

Judge Not

I AM GUILTY.  I've been chastened.

I judge conservative, white women.  I judge them because they shop at the Gap.  I judge them because they cook with too much ketchup.  I judge them because they wear too much Coppertone at the beach.  I judge them because they judge ME.

I was once at a function with a large group of such ladies. We discussed our taste in musical artists.

"I think watching Mandy Moore do ANYTHING is about as boring as watching paint dry," I said.  "I would MUCH rather support Cristina Aguillera.  Cristina's got SERIOUS talent."

Without warning one of the women raised her voice at me,

"So you're saying that just because Mandy Moore is modest and clean she's BORING?  I would never support someone as crass as Cristina Aguillera.  You like her just because she strips her clothes off!  You like her because you like the shock value in everything!"

It doesn't happen often that that I'm speechless but in this case I had no words.  I was in no way trying to offend and yet...

On another, more recent, occasion I had a different Gap wearing white woman come unglued and red-faced because we had differing opinions regarding a book.

Her white face quickly became an unbecoming scarlett and her mouth twisted into an ugly grimace as she let me have it in the presence of several other conservative white women. She pointed her finger at me and spoke with passionate anger.

I always remain very calm in these situations.  I feign steady repose, which seems only to enfuriate the furious more. Don't worry,  I always cry on the way home.

As a result of my differences I have had to extract many knives from my back.  The wounds of gossip at my expense have left scars, mistrust and pain.

Today I watched the prophet of my church, President Thomas S. Monson as he spoke at a Women's Conference. (This is uber loooong... skip to the end if you care to hear his talk.  ...That's what I did...)

I LOVE that man.  His words and spirit soothe my turbulent mind.  He is a Master Story Teller.  I share my own life experiences and emotions through stories.  His soul touches mine with his tales and my heart wells to bursting within my chest.

He told a story of a woman who judged her neighbor's laundry daily.  Her neighbor's laundry hung on the line and it never seemed clean enough to her.  Daily she reported to her husband the disappointment she felt at viewing the soiled linens.

One day she looked out the window and was shocked to find CLEAN laundry at her neighbor's home.

"I wonder how she got her laundry so CLEAN!" said the woman.

Her husband replied, "I got up this morning and washed your window."

MY window has been soiled.  I have harshly judged those who have harshly judged me.

I have been wrong.

I want nothing more than to Love EVERYONE with my entire being and be Loved in return.  I want nothing more than to exemplify the Charity God expects of me.  It's the only way to be happy in this life.

Mahatma Ghandi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world."

In a perfect world The White Ladies sporting J. Crew and driving minivans would see me for who I am.  They would see the beauty of my True Self and not judge me on my appearance or taste in music and literature. They would laugh at my lusty humor and enjoy my colorful wardrobe. It is not a perfect world.

So I will change MY perspective.  I will open my heart and see THEM for who they truly are: Magnificent in the sight of God. 

Perhaps they cannot see the forest for the trees but I recognize each person, regardless of race, weight, social standing or dress as someone of value.  Each person I come in contact with is put there for a reason.  We are meant to teach, lift and Love One Another.

Let them judge me.  It may hurt.  It won't change me.  The only person who can change my heart is me.  I intend to change it for the better.