Teens Chat about Judging Others

A group of teens and I were talking the other day about our hard-to-ignore urge to pre-judge others. We all admitted—both shamefully and painfully— to one time or other being the one on both the giving and receiving end of unfair judgment.

I expected my younger friends to wax on about how others judge by outward appearances. You know, like: Do they wear ratty clothes? Or last year’s clothes? Have stupid hair? Wear too much make-up? Look like they hitch-hiked in from a cornfield somewhere? (Okay, sorry, Indiana humor.)

But no. That’s not the kind of pre-judging these kids wanted to talk about. Their comments went beyond appearances. It went to things like cultural identity—how we pigeon-hole others because of where they’re from or what they believe. How sexual preference causes us to automatically assign all sorts of personality traits. How economic level makes us assume certain aspects of family status and history and wavering potential.

The conversation grew animated and passionate. These kids were tired of stereotypes. And they were tired of supporting stereotypes.

They made me proud. So today,I have a question for you—Have you ever been unfairly judged? In what way? Have you judged others wrongly and then regretted it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

And as always, thanks for stopping by. . .

Brenda

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