There is a quote you may be familiar with (or at least some variation of it):
“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”
This should be our reminder to pause, to think through our words and our actions. But sadly, most people are quick to judge. They believe they know situations or people well enough to be right, and believing one is right has been enough justification for many.
The reality is that we judge one another.
It would be nice, if we are going to do it anyway (human nature and all that), that we at least judge fairly, whatever it may be that we are judging. But once again, this is just not always the case.
Reserving judgment is about extending the benefit of the doubt. We make assumptions all the time without really learning someone's situation. We must strive to give the benefit of the doubt and seek to understand others and their situations without judgment. In the world of disability inclusion this is often around recognizing invisible disabilities; but it’s more than this.
Inclusion is about respecting each and every person’s right to make their own decisions and determine what is appropriate and meaningful for him or herself.
To reserve judgment is to truly listen to others and to make room for their wants & needs, hopes & desire. It’s about saying yes and meaning it. It’s about relationships built on trust. It is time for us to do this consciously, deliberately and consistently.
I’d love for you to share a time that you deliberately reserved judgment.
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