I know that sometimes, judging someone can be as easy as blinking.
How do I know this?
Because I used to be one of the biggest judges of everyone and anyone. It didn't matter if it was personality, character, appearance or ability - I would judge them based on it.
"What? You? Lovely, happy, kind, 'I love everyone' Jayne?" I hear those of you who know me ask.
Yes, it's true. And I'm ashamed to admit it.
I don't really mind if anyone reads this or not, but I feel as though it needs to be said. After all the criticism and bitter opinions that used to run through my head, I can say, without a hint of a doubt, that judgement should be left to God, and God alone.
No, I am NOT going to preach, those of you who just cringed. Hear me out.
I have found that there is nothing more disheartening than realising you take pleasure in thinking ill of others. When you find yourself enjoying the way you view people through a narrow lens of censure and degradation, rather than seeing their beauty and potential - it is time to take a step back and review the situation.
It is NOT a way to live.
Too many people in today's society are critics. While I admire those who critique food and movies, I cannot stand people who criticize others. I cannot stand them because, when I was in that mind set, I couldn't stand myself either.
But say I am coming from that point of view. This is what I see.
I see the man buying a packet of cigarettes instead of buying his child an ice cream - and I think 'You dirty, horrible person. Couldn't you give up your smokes for your child?'
I see the woman with down syndrome sitting on the train, playing with her hands - and I think 'Wow, I am so lucky I don't have a disability.'
I see a gay couple holding hands - and I think 'That is so unnatural.'
In truth, I see the world with blinkers on. I am narrow-minded, self-centered, egotistical, and I think no one is better than me.
It is a downright lonely existence.
"Lonely? Even if no one can tell you think this way?" You might ask.
Yes. It is lonely because, in your mind, no one can ever measure up. All you see are faults, and changes that need to be made. You don't see potential for more, and you don't see beauty. It becomes a never-ending stream of 'If only you were like me...'
It is NOT a way to live.
It is why now, I take on the world with an open heart and mind. I try with all my might to see what people can do. I relish in being surprised. I try and give with as much that I am, and refuse to accept that being different is NOT okay.
I have family and friends to thank for that. I also have to thank human services.
For those of you who are judgmental - please listen to me when I say it is NOT how you want to live your life.
Is it worth always being alone, if you spend your time seeing only people's faults? Is it worth losing friends, family, loved ones, just because you cannot see the beauty and potential within them?
I tell you, it's not worth it.
Being on the other side now, I see how wrong I was. That road will lead you to despair, nowhere else. Trust me, I would know.
Let us see people in a new light. Let us see past facades. Let us see through outward appearance and into the soul. Let us move from being judge and jury to character witness and defendant.
I know that I am now free from being adjudicator, placing everyone on trial. While it has that fleeting pleasure, I can now see that criticism only causes heartbreak, and judgement only causes pain.
Friends, let us learn not to judge, but rather to love.
LOVE, at the end of the day, will conquer all - it will breakdown barriers, bring equality, and unify our nation.
So - let us be people who LOVE. That is, surely, the only way to LIVE.