Tag: different

How I judged someone…

How I judged someone…

This is a perfect subject as we begin another new school year.  It is a great topic to discuss and bring awareness to how we can all be a little less judge-y about others.   I’ve been taking several college classes over the last four to five years in different fields and for different reasons, but mainly because I love learning.  There were a few classes I was dreading, but not because I was worried about the work.  Remember, I love learning and part of learning is doing assignments and activities that broaden our experiences.  I was dreading it because I was worried about the professor.  I had encountered this particular professor at a local organizational meeting that I attended one evening and she seemed to be very rigid, almost grumpy.  She wasn’t overly friendly or bubbly, in fact, she wasn’t really friendly at all.  I knew she taught two of the classes I was interested in, so I would have her as a professor and that really worried me.

This is when the story changes just a bit.  I took the plunge and signed up for those classes.  I decided it was time to face the worry that I was feeling and get through those classes that I wanted to take.   This is the part where you learn that I had completely prejudged that professor.  She was a phenomenal professor that had the class organized very efficiently.  After taking her two classes, I realized how pathetic it was that I even considered letting my initial judgment of her impact taking those classes.  She could have had a difficult day when I met her that evening, she could have been facing a battle I knew nothing about, or she might just have a personality that is different than what I thought it should be as a professor.  She isn’t required to be bubbly or overly friendly and I can assure you that her teaching style is drastically different from her everyday personality.  She may not like going to meetings or she may feel awkward in social situations.  Whatever it was, it didn’t even matter.  It wasn’t important.  And it was a wonderful learning lesson for me.  I was reminded that my judge-y self needed to take a step back and realize that each person’s personality is unique and should not be judged.  Not now, not ever.

And so the complete irony of the situation is not only was I reminded to be less judgmental, BUT I also loved her two classes!  She helped me grow throughout those two classes and made me view and look at things in different ways.  And for that, I am very thankful.  So with this blog, I challenge you to remember that there is no need to judge others…we can always let others do their own thing because we all walk different paths and lead different lives. 🙂

~jj

#ProjectKindnessBook

#AlwaysChooseKindness

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Diversity can change the world!

Diversity can change the world!

If you know me, you know I love diversity.   The first time I remember heavily considering and thinking about diversity is in 8th grade when I begged my mom to move high schools so I could be in a more diverse district filled with lots of ethnicities and different cultural experiences.

I love diversity because I love what it brings to my life, and more than anything I love what it teaches me.  Similarly, I remember as we headed to Ireland to elope that I recall how noticeable the diversity was in London and Dublin.  From the waiters and staff that helped with our wedding to the many people that we met, the vacation was filled with Muslims, Indians, Americans, Romanians, and many others.

These experiences have further reminded me how much I appreciate and love to be immersed in projects and opportunities that expose me to people and students with different opportunities, educational backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, and experiences.

I hope others are able to learn and appreciate those they are surrounded by and the communities in which they live.  It is so easy to judge those who are different, but I personally prefer to learn from them, and I hope you do, too!  We can learn why they do things the way they do, why they wear the clothing they do, what their religion means to them, how their journey brought them to where they are now, and so on.

Back to the whole high school story which is what set me on my path of wondering about diversity.  We eventually moved and I loved my new high school that had so much more diversity, my alma mater, and where I now have the privilege of working.  I once again was lucky enough to witness the diversity at prom.  I realized how lucky I am to be in a place that offers so much diversity and experiences for me to grow.

It is so easy to judge those that are diverse or different than us, but I hope at some point we learn to embrace them because of the many great things they can teach us.  I challenge you to think about this next time you are helping someone from a different culture, someone that isn’t like you, or someone that may be far different than you are used to.  All the diversity we see and have among us is what brings people together to invent new things, find new cures, expand community projects, teach our students, and ultimately to change the world!

~jj

#ProjectKindnessBook

#AlwaysChooseKindness

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Weight is a number…healthy bodies = all shapes & sizes!

Weight is a number…healthy bodies = all shapes & sizes!

I missed posting last week.  Not intentionally, but because I didn’t have any inspiration for a post and didn’t want to post just to post.  I like to find a passionate topic to talk about each week and last week for some reason nothing came to me.  So to my routine readers, I apologize for the missed entry.  Maybe if you’re lucky I will post twice this week! 🙂

I have been thinking about weight, body image, and how much we judge ourselves (and others) by weight.  We even tend to judge people more by their weight than their personality, pretty typical, but we often say, “Don’t judge a book by the cover and don’t judge a book by its movie” so why don’t we follow this same rule when it comes to people?  More than judging others, we even judge ourselves by the number we see on the scale.  We use that number to decide whether we want to lose weight, how much weight we want to lose, and how perfect (or not) our body is because of our “ideal weight” goal.  So how do we get past this idea of judging ourselves by the number on the scale?  I will share a little secret with you.  I got rid of my scale about 13 years ago.  It’s one thing that I changed  and I haven’t looked back since.  I do not own a scale, I do not know how much I weigh other than a guess and I always ask my doctor to refrain from telling me my body weight.  Why?  Because I don’t want to be able to judge myself by the number staring back at me on a scale.  Instead, I can easily tell how my body weight is doing by how my clothes fit, what foods I am putting in my mouth, and how much physical exercise I am getting in comparison to my daily caloric intake.

So I talked about judging ourselves and judging others, but I didn’t really connect the two.  We know that we judge ourselves and others, but now we must realize that we judge without knowing the health choices a person makes and the lifestyle they lead.  My point is to convey the differences in people and to realize that “healthy” for one person isn’t going to be “healthy” for another person.  Think of it like this: “our” healthy is our own unique “setting” similar to how we look, our personality, our characteristics and traits, goals, aspirations, etc.  While we are all unique in that aspect, we are also all unique in what “our healthy” is and means.  For example, my “healthy” as a 26 year old female might be exercising 5 days a week on my own, high metabolism, few genetic health concerns, but another 26 year old female’s “healthy” might be to exercise in a group class 3 days a week because of her lifestyle, steady, but not fast metabolism, and several genetic health concerns.  My point is that each person’s individual “healthy” is different hence different body shapes and sizes.

Try to remember that healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes.  Often we think or believe that if you are thin, slender, or skinny that the person must be healthy and if a person is large, curvy, or plus-sized that they are fat and unhealthy.  This is so stereotypical and false.  A large person can be healthier than a thin person and a thin person can be healthier than a large person.  Healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes, I cannot say and reiterate this enough.  Physical exercise, eating and nutrition habits, family history/genetics all contribute to a person’s overall health and well being.  It’s something that the world must realize to move forward.  Not only will it make you feel better about yourself, it will make the world a more accepting and less judgmental place.

So, next time you see someone thin, large, slender, plus-sized, etc remember that healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes because all bodies are unique and different.  I will also suggest that next time you consider stepping on the scale that you reconsider and instead use your clothes to judge how well you are meeting your health goals.

~jj

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