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1st December
written by LS Girl


Judging Others –  Lessons learned from a Muppet

Is it ok to judge a person on what they do, what they say, or what they say they do?  Is it ever ok?  Never ok?

I knew a woman through work who told me a story about her recent exciting accomplishment:  She’d stolen that year’s most desirable holiday toy (the recently defrocked, Elmo) away from a stranger’s child, so she could give it to her own son.  In a stroke of genius, she decided to say her name was “Super Common Last Name”, guessing that at least ONE person with this name would be on the waiting list at the department store.  They were.  And baby “Super Common Last Name’s” toy walked out the door, never to be placed under the tree.  Never to be enjoyed.  Little “Super Common” would go without.

This happened years ago, yet, this act and others like it confuse the hell out of me on a regular basis.


After the woman explained her story to me, (she had been writhing with excitement and very proud of herself) I didn’t know what to do.  She had not wronged ME.  She didn’t steal from ME.  Technically, she didn’t even steal the toy;  she stole the opportunity.  She stole the time and dedication of the parents who planned ahead and put their common last name on the waiting list.  She didn’t actually do anything to me – ever.  She’d been nothing but kind, helpful, professional, and a pleasure to be with.

The story disturbed me to the point that I did sever the relationship by letting it die a slow death through neglect.  But was that justified?  Should her actions towards others be treated separate from her actions towards me?

One side says, “Dude.  She stole.  What else has she done, or would she do?  That poor “Super Common Last Name” kid!  My GOD!  She stole from a CHILD.”

The other side says, “Now, now.  She may have done this, but so what.  She’s always been nice and descent with me.  She’s actually very helpful, and I enjoy having a relationship with her.  Just forget about it, it has nothing to do with me.”

But I couldn’t just forget about it.  The relationship was over.

Where are the lines between knowing what someone is capable of vs. actually being involved?  If your wife arrived home and explained she’d just had sex with the neighbor, I’m sure in MOST cases, this would be a trust deal breaker.  But what if it’s a character issue?  What if she came home and said she WANTED to do this, but her appointment ran late, so she was unable.  Or, she TRIED, but the neighbor wasn’t interested.  What if she flat out said:  “I was going to… but I decided that would be wrong, so I didn’t.”

You own this information now, and you can’t un-own it.

Does it ultimately boil down to… keep your damn mouth shut?

Does divulging your actions to others make you open to consequences?  Or, does the action have to be directed or put upon you to justify consequences?  I really want to hear your thoughts and experiences on this.  WWYD?  Most of us can forgive a person’s actions in our own heart and mind, and move on with our lives… but do we maintain the relationship?  Please comment.


Judging People - Elmo


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