Let’s be real, a bunch of people have already written about why the Don’t Judge Challenge is hypocritical and silly. But despite the title of this post, that’s actually not what I’m going to write about today.

This is an impromptu post that’s more of a rant, really.

Okay, so if you’re a stranger and you talk to me for a bit and find out that I don’t have a conventional job and am not attending a school right now, a bunch of things probably go through your head. And yeah, I can’t say this with certainty because it’s impossible for me to actually see myself from an outsider’s eyes, but this is the general stereotype that gets associated with people who aren’t working/studying:

Couch potato, total bum that does nothing all day. Lazy. Probably dropped out of school and is not so smart. Hangs with a bad crowd and does less than legal activities. Probably raised in a bad environment or had something bad happen to them. Leeches off parents’ money and/or Centrelink.

Well, this is what would probably come to my mind anyway, if someone gave me a brief description of myself – “20 yr old who is unemployed and not studying”. I can probably agree that a lot of those things are true about me. I “do nothing” all day which means I’m a couch potato. I can’t wake up early so I’m lazy. I dropped out of university so I must be really stupid. I leech off my parents because I don’t have a stable income. The only ones that I consider to be untrue are the bad environment/trauma and hanging with a bad crowd. I think the people I generally associate with are great. They’re encouraging and positive and (most of them) stay out of trouble. They listen and give me advice and are actively involved in different ministries etc. They inspire me to be better.

But I’m not here to talk to you about how great my friends are.

I’m here because earlier today I got offended over something that one of them said. They probably don’t realize the impact of their words, but it hit me pretty hard and I know for a fact that they said them with intentions to sting. I’d repeat those words here but I don’t want to get too specific on the off-chance that this person will read this post (Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog! Btw – you were a douche and you suck major balls).

This one’s for you:

I know what I am. I know I’m lazy and stupid and don’t reach your standards. I feel like it’s always been the elephant in our friendship – but that doesn’t mean you have to disregard what I say. It doesn’t mean my opinions and past experiences are irrelevant and can’t help you in some way; that you should ignore me when I have good intentions and just want to help out. I consider you a friend, which is why it hurt more than it should have – it makes me feel like you only pity me. Don’t look down on me just because I’m not where I should be!

Last time I wrote a reflective post, I wrote about how I felt like I was moving backwards. I also wrote that the next time I wrote something reflective I was hoping for some good things to happen by then. It’s only been nine days since I published that post but I’ve been stuck in this rut for a very long time, and to be honest my attitude has been going up and down like a roller coaster – so I don’t know if these things will be long term, but I can list some habits that I’ve been attempting to improve:

  • For one, health. I’ve been trying to exercise on a more regular basis. I used to do this but fell out of it. Since I stay home a lot, I don’t get as much movement as I used to. I don’t want to become unhealthy so I’ve been attempting to exercise more often and eat less junk food.
  • Two. The shop. I said that I wanted to speed up the process of our ventures and I feel like I’m making progress with it. I can’t do everything I want to yet, but I’m setting short term goals and working on them daily. I think I’m getting pretty close.
  • Three. Income. While VV is still relatively new and we’re all amateurs, I’m aware that I won’t be able to make a decent income from it, maybe ever. Over the past week I’ve been changing up my résumé and applying to a few jobs. I’ve also decided to gain some experience through a friend’s offer and hopefully that will follow through in the upcoming days.

So there. I don’t mean to brag (just a little self encouragement, okay?), but there are three things off the top of my head that I think I’m doing better since last time.

In saying all of this, I know how much of a hypocrite I am. You can tell by the first paragraph of this post. I’m one of those people that do judge a book by it’s cover, and I think most people are the same. It’s something I need to constantly be working on to change and I know how hard it is.

So yes, I know I’m no better that you.

This post isn’t meant to be any sort of revelation or enlightenment, but just a small reminder that you shouldn’t judge somebody you don’t know so well or jump to conclusions based on one of their actions or because they happen to fit a certain stereotype. They could be trying their best to change. They could be at a bad time in their life.

You don’t know.

You don’t know everything about them, and they don’t know everything about you.

So here’s my personal #dontjudgechallenge. Next time I meet someone new or talk to a friend, I’ll try my best not to judge them, especially when I don’t see the full picture. I’ll try my best to eliminate those stereotypes and really listen to what they have to say, regardless of who they are and where I think they might be in their walk of life.

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