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“I judge people based on how they treat me. Is there any other way?”

I don’t know the person who tweeted this; it came to me as a retweet. It’s the kind of sentiment with which many people would instinctively agree, particularly the first sentence. But it was the second sentence that gave me pause. Is there any other way?

Well, yes. Not only are there many other ways, but that how a person treats me is perhaps not even the best way to judge them (if I should judge at all). Even on a good day, I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. On some days and in some situations, I’m sure I’m perceived as cantankerous, annoying, and exasperating. Since my behavior influences those around me, how can I judge them if they respond in kind?

And of more importance to me than how I am treated: how do people treat my child? Someone may treat me with extreme admiration, respect, and courtesy but if they treat my child like (dog pile), that’s the lens through which I will view them. My behavior will communicate that, whether through avoidance, confrontation and smackdown, or through compassion, conciliation, and outreach. All those cards are on the table, all the time.

Judgment is another word for choice, and we always have choices.

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