Several years ago, hurricane Katrina roared into the Gulf of Mexico and displaced thousands of people. Phoenix ended up hosting and housing several hundred of those displaced by hurricane in the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Many of the people who came had lost everything. A call went out to the community for help. The victims needed clothing, toys, housing, anything that could be used to help these people to get back on their feet.
My wife and I thought it would be a good idea for the kids to gather up some of the toys they no longer played with and we would take them down to the coliseum. We had been blessed and thought we could help teach our kids a lesson about sharing and thankful for what we had been given.
When the idea was brought up with our kids, my wife and I got a response that totally caught us off guard; kids have a tendency to do that from time to time. They said, “We don’t want to go down there because we might be beat up, killed or robbed.” Now you see why it caught us off guard.
We asked then where this idea had come from. They said the TV.
The coverage in the days following the hurricane changed from reporting of the good and heroic activities of individual people to the murders, beating, and stealing going on in the communities. My kids had picked up on it.
As I thought about this, I wondered how many of use let the media and news drive our opinions and views of people. How many of use let a past experiences with a neighbor or friend and coworker effect how we view those we come in contact with?
After the experience with my kids, I took a look at myself and realized I had been influenced by the different experiences in my life. From that point on I determined that I was going to come up with a list of things I could do to improve myself and not be so quite to judge others.
Here are five things I came up with to help me to stop being judgmental of others.
- Read the scriptures and study them. There are so many stories about not judging and forgiving people that one can’t help but be changed by reading them.
- Pray for others. I’ve found that when I pray for others and especially those who have wronged me, my views and thoughts towards them are much kinder and gentler.
- Keep an open mind when working with others.
- Listen more instead of talking. Try to understand where the other person is coming from.
- Be more charitable. I strongly believe that what goes around comes around. Today I have but tomorrow I may be in need.
Question: Have your experiences affected your life and in what way? Please share because I believe that we can all learn from each other.
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