“My reputation grows with every failure.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
Few days ago I had a
nother lapse in judgment and launched into defending Bainbridge Island on a Facebook thread. I know, I know… It was an ultimately fruitless attempt to convert total strangers’ adamant viewpoint that this residential island is solely inhabited by rich, snobby people who don’t need to work and have no cares in the world.
Ironically, that same weekend I worked for a friend’s catering business,
dropping forks and almost a whole tray of full wine bottles serving appetizers and dinner at a couple of fancy functions on Bainbridge Island.
I have never lived in a zip code that was so vilified by neighboring zip codes. You’d think island residents loaded up on horses every quarter and demanded gold coins from adjacent zip codes at knife point while setting their thatched roofs aflame and taking their women
or men, possibly, let’s consider that….
Faced with blunt disdain online, I felt frustrated and misunderstood.
On Facebook of all things, what is wrong with me? And the more I commented, the worse it got and the dumber I felt. Stupid? Pointless? Absolutely.
But it got me thinking.
How often do we open and close ourselves based on assumptions about people or even their individual “reputations?” I see now how I shut myself off during my junior and senior years at an all-girl prep school, assuming that those rich girls who’d known each other for a decade would have nothing to do with me. And I proudly graduated cum laude
and lonely and knew I was right. Brilliance.
So sad to think how we pass other human beings by every day, averting our glances, not seeing their struggles, their worries, their anxieties because their car is newer than ours or their shoes shinier. Or because their car is older than ours or their shoes scuffed.
It’s finally sunk in, too,
if my self is any indication that if we’re so full of judgment of others, there is a real good likelihood that we’re that harsh on ourselves with that nasty, whispering inner critic.
Even though I still want to pull my prematurely grey hair out when being judged unfairly, this realization has made me more sympathetic whenever I hear judge-y tones
after I’ve had a week to cool off.
In the end, you only limit yourself by dodging relationships and missing potentially rich roads to travel.
And I can’t speak for you, but I sure could use as many real, heartfelt connections this lifetime as I can get. Regardless of the quality of anyone’s shoes.