28 March 2010

non sint

Everyone cares about something. And that doesn't mean 'is vaguely interested in a detached sort of way.' No, there is an issue out there that is so huge, so enormous, so vast and important in their mind that they are truly passionate about it. For a couple of my friends, its the problem of malaria in Africa. For another, it's that sub-cultures can be Christian.

I've noticed a phenomenon among some of my 'courtyard' friends recently. They'll come up to me, and make a rude statement concerning my 'keep' friends. And usually, it's a hasty generalization or judgement on these people.

All this to say, the thing that makes me sad to the core, that makes me sick to my stomach when I see it happening is when I see people judge others without truly learning about them. That's my 'issue'.

The most recent one that happened was something like this: My courtyard friends started talking about people in the speech and debate league around the area. From other clubs, by the way. As I was saying, these people started talking about members of NCFCA in the Puget Sound region. They are more junior members of my club, in the way that I've been around NCFCA for much, much longer than they have. But that's besides the point. These club mates of mine commented on a couple old-timers from other clubs, who also happen to be good friends of mine.

My club mates (both of whom I shall now refer to as X)  remarked that one good friend (B) was an insincere actress whose kindness, niceness, sincerity, etc. was an act and that she genuinely didn't care about other people. X went on to say that (C) was a little better and not as fake, but was also an actress whose concern for others was only going for getting brownie points with the adults.  Ouch. That's the type of thing I'd expect a group of cliquey high-school girls to say about each other, not teen-aged young men (I shall not call them gentlemen because they were not).

On a separate occassion, persons X (a group which may or may not be different from the previous paragraph) targeted a different friend of mine. According to X, (D) was a dogmatic, pragmatic spoil-sport who didn't know how to take a joke, nor make one.

I don't take offense at what X say: If these guys actually knew (B), (C), or (D), they would realize how wrong, how unjust, and how skewed their opinions are. I've even said something to that effect to X. But they don't listen. Why? Because X are set in their ways: They've fallen into judging others before even getting to know them.

I do it too. Before I met (B) and (C), I was universally distrustful of gregarious people because of a bad experience I had in the past. I met them, and thought "Oh, I don't want to be friends with them" because they talked a lot. I've got another friend (G), who looks on the outside like a cloudcuckoolander with no firm grasp of reality, but whose insights and opinions can be startlingly sharp.  I've got countless examples of friends who I made hasty judgements about, and now regret those opinions. God has been gracious and showed me the error of those assumptions. I'm certainly not over it, but I've learned now to try and get to know someone before drawing a conclusion about who they are and what they're like.

What upsets me about these situations is that X and other friends don't even *try* to get to know the people they criticize. They meet a person, run into them twice, and then become the experts on who the person is. Not only that, but they are then as insensitive and back-stabbing as to tell others about this person without even having one, just ONE meaningful conversation with the person in question. It's wrong, and maybe I'm not expressing it right, but it should not be this way.

Not only have persons X ruined the chance of good, pure, simple friendship without any pretensions or false concepts for themselves, they've also sewn the seeds of rumors, lies and hypotheses in other people's minds. They're not just hurting themselves: they're hurting the ones they gossip about and anyone who remotely comes into contact with the rumors.

I don't know if that was remotely intelligible, let alone polite and politic. So what are your thoughts?



  1. Wow, this is *VERY* thought-provoking and true. And convicting. I know that sometimes I can jump to my conclusions about people without really giving them the benefit of the doubt or getting properly acquainted with them. And even if I don't share my opinion with others... those unkind thoughts and judgments are still MY thoughts. I thought them, and they're wrong. This doesn't make any sense. But hey, it's late, and I just wanted to agree with this post. I've probably made countless spelling/ grammar errors in this comment. Oh well. I think that this is something that we will always struggle with. Learning to not judge people is contrary to our nature and sometimes requires lots of effort. Very good thoughts. Thank you for this reminder!

  2. Amen! I've made hasty judgements... and always regret it.

    Lauren's post touches on this as well... it really convicted me personally.

  3. People who do this sort of thing are such bigots.


    I detest it when people do this, the more so because I tend to do it myself with other groups of people; it always comes down to some kind of pride issue.

    Thanks for posting this.