I spent twenty minutes concocting a story about the woman sitting across of me on the airplane. She was elderly, well-dressed, and polite. She also quietly requested to be moved to another seat. As she listened to the flight attendant apologize for the full plane, I secretly analyzed her.

I assumed she must live alone. I got annoyed thinking about her lack of compassion, her inability to understand how hard it was to be a mom, let alone a new mom on a plane with a 10-month old. Some people just didn’t get how difficult it was to soothe a crying baby. I sat there fuming. And then something surprising happened.

I saw my son smiling at the seat across of me. I resisted eye contact with the woman out of embarrassment, but she tapped me on my shoulder. “Your son is so happy!” she said. “Is he always like this?” I turned to see her smiling and cooing at him. I spent the rest of the ride in utter disbelief at my own quick judgment.

I have little patience for judgmental people. I am an advocate for equality and compassion. But I hadn’t realized that when it comes to my own fear of being judged, I beat others to the punch.

As we head into the weekend, try to be cognizant of the people you meet, the judgments you might have about them, and the opinions you make as a protective response to your own fears. You might find as I did, that you still have a lot to learn about compassion for others and yourself.

{Etsy T-shirt by SuperLoveTees}

{Etsy T-shirt by SuperLoveTees}

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