14 May 2020
I consider myself to be a fairly judgement free individual. In matters of same sex marriage, for instance, I register firmly in the “Thou shall not judge” side of things. I don’t like hearing people pass judgement on indigenous people, the homeless, the unemployed, disabled people and those from other races. Although I’m not always brave enough to stand up for my non-judgie opinions, I do have them.
I’m a bit less non-judgie when it comes to drivers who speed in the roads, and tail gate you in an aggressive manner. Although they could be trying to get their pregnant wife to hospital, to be fair. I tend to get out of their way, but give them a hard stare if we happen to end up beside each other at traffic lights. And check the passenger seat for someone chewing on the seatbelt.
My non-judginess is also at risk sometimes in the matter of football umpires with obviously untreated vision impairments, and old men driving sports cars with young women in the passenger seat. But apart from that, I’m non-judgie, ok?
Apart from, that is, any time before February or March this year, when I saw a person wearing a face mask in public. Or using hand sanitiser going into or out of a shop. Heaven forbid if I’d seen someone wearing dishwashing gloves to the shops. I would probably have injured myself rolling my eyes as far back as possible, while simultaneously watching out for the men in the white coats who were hunting the escapee from the loony bin.
I saw all three of those things in the supermarket this morning. The hand sanitising people I smiled at, acknowledging their efforts to protect themselves and others. The mask people I noted their age and other hints as to why they felt they needed face masks, but it all seemed perfectly acceptable.
The lady wearing the dishwashing gloves I must confess my eyes started to roll a little, until I noticed her advanced age and the slightly scared look in her eyes. So she got a smile and a “Isn’t it a lovely day?”.
When did these things change in our minds from actions of the slightly strange, to perfectly understandable actions in a shopping centre?
About March, I reckon.
And maybe, just maybe, the ‘fruitcakes’ I saw before March, were protecting themselves because of an immune suppression situation, or some other genuine reason? Maybe they also had that same scared look on their faces, but I was too busy judging what they were wearing to wonder at why?
I save my judgement in shops now for people with packs of 48 toilet rolls.
But not the people with five blocks of chocolate, or a case of wine, of course. They are obviously going through stuff and they need the support and encouragement of strangers.
Have you judged anyone today?