Dear Next Generation,
I once again thought of you when I was observing folks the other day. What brought this up was a simple reaction that I witnessed. It’s not that I haven’t seen this before, but that I realized the greatest generation doesn’t do this. I commend you for that.
I was in a crowded place with lots of people coming and going. I had the opportunity to just observe them because I wasn’t pressed for time.
Clearly through the masses, I could see a very unique individual. This person did not adhere to the required social norms and what’s more, didn’t care in the least. It made following them all the easier.
That person is not the subject of this letter. Those people passing and walking alongside are who I observed the most.
Some almost tripped over their own feet trying to see, while others halted their very important conversation with their cell phones. Those that were coming from behind appeared to square up this person occupying the shared space. The decision to increase their pace to pass by rather than alongside, was visible.
Those approaching this standout, redirected their path with avoidance in mind. Even still, their eyes were locked on the outsider. I even saw one almost walk into another who had stopped for a daring closer look. That was the most perfect balance of collision avoidance I think I have ever seen. I kind of chuckled to myself when the person stood most upright as if the touch of another was a kin to receiving a disease on the order of contagion.
So what are these folks doing that you don’t do? That’s right, passing judgment on someone who outwardly appears different to them. Sure, some might just give a curious glance without a negative thought. But if their chin is on the floor, I believe that goes beyond curiosity. That’s clear disagreement and judgment.
In a circus or show, that’s what’s supposed to happen to you. Stunning surprise gets your juices flowing. It helps sell tickets. But there are no tickets for sale in a public throng. People around you aren’t supposed to be cookie cutter images of you.
So this also brings another question into this thought. Who made them in charge of what is adopted and so called, “normal”? In that group that I observed, I couldn’t pick out the leader that made this so. They all followed an unseen rule, except for this path clearing soul. I couldn’t help but think of sheep in this situation. The dog that corralled them was nowhere in sight.
Clearly they felt righteous in their quick judgment but in order to pass judgment, the banger of the gavel must be qualified. In other words, have a strong unchallengeable character. These folks could have been saints but who among us should cast the first stone?
This reminds me of a cute story with strong morals. There was a king who held court as all kings do. One day two women came to him claiming the same baby. Each had their own defense that stated why the child was theirs. This king listened to both sides equally and finally made his ruling.
”The baby shall be split in half and given to both women.”
The king not being perfect but sought wisdom, wanted to show his wisdom at knowing that the true mother would rather spare the child even if that meant losing it. So the one that declared the child be given to the other woman, received the child.
You can read more of this story here.
So passing judgment means you have the qualifications to throw that first stone. It means you are above the rest. It also means those that you pass judgment on, are beneath you.
This is why I am so proud of you and your generation. Wisely, you don’t do this and set an example for others. You always amaze me and that’s why I thought of you. I wondered how you gained such wisdom and how you walk among the sheep without being one. I won’t know but I’m thankful you are replacing me.
I thought you might like this. Keep up your fascinating and successful work.
Until next time Dear Next Generation; Do try new things safely for you and your generation.
Check out I Didn’t Know for another look at thinking about people.