I was the youngest in my family. On top of that, I didn’t grow up around many young children. I didn’t baby-sit much, and if I did, the kids were older. Unfortunately, as a naïve, very young adult, I was pretty critical toward other people and their kids. Why did they let them continually scream and cry in the grocery store? Why did they let them out of the house with weird or grossly mismatched clothing? These were just a couple questions that would fly through my mind. (I love that I thought I knew what was acceptable/expected, even though I’d never had children….)
Then I spent time with my sister’s family, including a precious niece and nephew. It didn’t take long for me to realize that sometimes just getting out of the house with a child FULLY dressed is a win. Seriously, who cares if the pants and shirt don’t match? And children misbehaving in the grocery store… Oh my. I realized quickly that parents and guardians probably wouldn’t get much done if they waited for their children to act perfectly before stepping out with them in public.
How judgmental could I be? Especially about something I knew so little about. Why in the world would I be like that?
I think it was easy for me because like all of us, I was learning and adulting and my pool of knowledge was expanding. I had within me the capacity to make sound judgments. But while I had learned so much, I had to also learn that I knew so little.
I definitely needed a slice of that humble pie. And I think, for the sake of all of us, we should keep that dessert close by. Because our knowledge will keep expanding. Daily. And it’s easy to be a little self-righteous and a tad judgmental: “Yeah, I know a thing or two. I’ve been around that metaphorical block.”
Instead, no matter our age and experience, we can take the healthier response and let more knowledge lead to more understanding. Gently reminding ourselves that there is typically so much more depth to what we see with our eyes and to any situation that we observe.
Learning MORE should be just a reminder that there is EVEN MORE to learn.
Creator of Love, Auntie.