Let’s be honest. It’s easy to be judgmental. It’s easy to look at some and judge them for what they wear, how they look, what they are eating, etc.
Today, while grocery shopping an unkept man was outside of the store eating his lunch. The lunch was from the store’s hot deli and he was quietly sitting on edge of a concrete pillar, away from the entrance. He wasn’t bothering anyone which is why I became aggravated. Not at him, but at another customer.
The man was dirty, he had body odor. Whether or not he could smell himself I don’t know, but others could smell him. But he wasn’t bothering anyway so there was no reason to stop and make the person feel uncomfortable.
A woman and her (looked like early teens) teenage daughter stopped near the man and the woman made a point to tell her daughter, loud enough for the man – and those around him – to hear that he must be homeless because he was dirty and smelled. And her kid giggled. (Really what kind of parent teaches her child to be so thoughtless?)
The man was visibly uncomfortable and kind of shuffled his feet and was putting his food back in the bag. I couldn’t help it, I had to speak up. I said loudly enough for her to hear that she’s rude and that she was a poor role model. I told her that there is no way she’s never smelled someone who stinks that she worked with or some place where she knew they weren’t homeless but didn’t have good hygiene. I asked her how she didn’t know if he was on his lunch break – told her to look around at all of the construction going on in the next parking lot and beyond. She looked at me in shock. I guess she was expecting to be a b***h and no one say anything to her.
I told the man that he was fine and to ignore the b***h because she lived in her own sad reality. He smiled but I could tell he was still uncomfortable. I smiled at him and patted him on the shoulder and started talking about the weather and how it was too hot here in January. We made small talk and laughed.
While I’m talking to the man, the kid asked her mom if she was going to let me talk to her like that. I looked at both of them and said of course she is because she’s not brave enough to talk s**t to someone who will snap back at her, and the man laughed out loud. The woman started walking away while talking fast about me butting in her business and the bratty kid said “I know mom, that was rude”. The gentleman and I busted out laughing at how ironic that was. And to our surprise an older couple started laughing with us. The couple stopped the rude woman and told her that she should be embarrassed at her ignorance and rudeness but she would pray for her and her child. Crickets…..the mom and brat were silent.
The three of us made sure the mom and her brat left so the gentleman wouldn’t be harassed any further. I told them goodbye and wished them all blessings. The couple stayed to visit with him.
That man could have been on his lunch break. He could have been homeless and someone bought him a meal. He could have been a millionaire who was cleaning out his attic and wanted deli fried chicken. I don’t know and neither does that rude woman.
But he is a human being. He wasn’t bothering anyone. He was eating his meal. He was minding his own business.
The world has enough ugly. We don’t need to continue teaching ugly to the next generation. I’ll admit, I wasn’t nice to them. I could have been, but I wasn’t. I don’t believe they would have understood nice. Yes, I had to get on their level. I had to show them how rude they were and how you never know who you are talking to or who may be listening. Lord knows that the me of a few years ago would have cursed the woman out. The me now just put her in her place.
It’s easy to judge, it really is. But it’s even easier to be kind and be a decent person.
God bless, and be blessed.