There’s an old joke about a woman who is successfully losing weight by following a very strict diet. But one day, her hubby returns home to find her sitting at the kitchen table finishing off a Hershey chocolate bar. He says to her: “Honey! You’ve been doing so great on your diet until now! How could you eat that chocolate bar?”
And her reply:
“You don’t know how many I wanted . . .”
That response sums up a profound message that goes beyond mere diet-cheating to how swiftly we rush to judgement based simply on what we see. Mostly, we rush to judge other adults based on actions or behaviours that are none of our business (sometimes criticism is thinly veiled as “caring”: I care about you so I have to mention the chocolate bar I see you eating. . . ) We judge others because they are not like us, because they make choices we wouldn’t, or because they make choices we might secretly want to make, too – but stop ourselves from doing.
Dr. Lisa Wade’s provocative essay on how we judge those living in poverty recently reminded me of how those living with a chronic illness diagnosis like heart disease can feel similarly judged. Continue reading “When we judge the poor the way we judge the chronically ill”