no judgmentzappos boxes of shoes

No Judgment

I really hate to admit this. I ordered 8 pairs of shoes online with full knowledge that I was only going to keep one. As I unloaded them into my apartment, my neighbor walked towards me to get on the elevator. “I’m so embarrassed,” I said to her, guiltily looking at my haul. She smiled and replied, “No judgment. You should see the cart I’m about to bring up.”

My List of Excuses

First, let me explain. (Yes, the guilt is still overwhelming me.) It was Tuesday afternoon. My teenage son needed dress shoes…by Friday. He has such a packed schedule, we only have time to shop on the weekends. And we totally forgot the weekend before. It’s also important to understand that he’s 15, so his shoe size basically changes every couple of months.

I got on Zappos and ordered a range of sizes and shoes – 7 1/2 to 8 1/2 in narrow and wide – in order to ensure something would fit. Phew, ok, 4 pairs should do the trick. Not too bad. That is, until he texted me to say that his current size is 9 or 9 1/2. Ugh. Thus, the 8 pairs.

I know, I know. My carbon footprint just grew exponentially. And, of course, it was even worse because they sent each pair individually! Mortifying, to say the least.

No Judgment

I clearly understand that this was a classic “first world” solution. This was a perfect example of why our environment is suffering. So, how does this relate to kindness? It was the amazing response I got from my neighbor when I told her I was embarrassed. “No judgment.”

It was precisely what I needed to hear. Her words relieved me from the burden of explanation. She made me smile and feel immediately at ease. It was the perfect thing to say. She didn’t need to judge me. I was already being hard enough on myself for both of us.

Do Unto Others

My neighbor’s kindness and understanding caused me to reflect on my own reactions to others. Do I make too many snap judgments? Is it possible I don’t have the full story when I see someone doing something with which I don’t agree? Maybe I should try to give people the benefit of the doubt more often?

Trying to be less judgmental would be a great idea for a kindness challenge. I’m going to give it a try. I imagine that the time spent critiquing others and myself could be used in a much more productive way – like shoe shopping!

Do you have a tendency to judge people too quickly?

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