Why can't everyone be like me?

I came out of the aisle a little too fast and nearly ran into him at the small grocery store. He didn't seem to see me or our near collision. He just walked on by.

His clothes were dirty.

His hair was big and wild.

His gaze was straight ahead. "It's my birthday," he chanted loudly. "It's my birthday." He held a can of something in one hand and waved the other in the air, as he spoke.

I had to look for something at the end of the aisle, but, I tried not to get to close.

"Uh huh, uh huh," he chanted. "I can't help it." Then he moved on talking to himself. Eyes stared straight ahead.

We've seen people with mental illness behave like this in public or at least I have. Sometimes we turn away because...they are scary...sometimes...we are disgusted. And we don't know what to do.

This man made me nervous… a little. He didn't seem to acknowledge anyone around him. And he had a can in his hand. But actually...

hidden in his wild hair was a Bluetooth device that I saw later. Once again, I assumed something different than the reality.

Sometimes we assume the worst about people. Sometimes we are totally judging the wrong thing. Is that fair? Is that love?

"If you judge people, you have no time to love them." ~Mother Teresa said.

The right way to serve others is to satisfy the heart...not the mind. It's difficult...sometimes...to look past the surface. But who are we to cast that first stone? Who are we to say you are poor and I am better? Who are we to say you are different, not like me, I am better? Who am I? None better than another.

"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'
All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Matthew 22:36-40

Love is not.... turning away, being critical, or unforgiving. Real love from person to person should be...could be unconditional....should be loving.

Judging or loving? Those are my choices today.

To answer my own question: Why can't everyone be like me? Well my goodness it's because it is better that way.
Oh and for something fun to read, go check out the story at Something She Wrote. She put out a little exercise... a little challenge...to contribute to a story from an idea. Then Janna put it all together as a story. She went to a lot of trouble. It was so much fun. I contributed twice. My pride will tell you that I was the first contributor. My first part starts with "Had I been here before?" and ends with "I needed to watch". I also have a blurb later. It was so much fun.


The world is made up of so many interesting people. Loving them unconditionally is a challenge...one I struggle with. Thanks for the reminder, Teresa.

Mystery Writing is Murder
Angela C. said…
Sometimes too a person tends to ask, "Why does everything happen to me?" I have request for prayer, but also this is a praise item I want to share.
I have been without a job for over 10 months now, single mom of an almost 16 year old boy (going on 30 yr. old man), and all I can find is substitute teaching. This has been a blessing because I love working with kids, and it gives me hope of getting a job.
My truck would not go into "park" the other day and had to have it dropped off at the shop. Here I don't have a job so the stress...then I have been having a toothache that has turned more painful than childbirth (that I can remember...)so everything seemed to be happening to "me". Then the "why me?" but I prayed it through and the total fix on my truck was...$67.00! Thank you Lord!
I stopped in at the dentist to see when they could get me in...expecting to be told a months wait and I don't have insurance (no job thing again...) and they will get me in this morning at 8:30 this morning! Praise God! $66.00 for the visit.
Seems like not big deals but it truly is and if you pray believing...well it's true. God will and is always there for you if you just keep the FAITH.
Please pray my dentist appointment is reasonable and my pain ends. I subbed 2 days straight with this severe toothache with classrooms full of Pre-K kids. Another testament that God truly is GOOD!
Angela Case
Unknown said…
Quick it judge is a problem for many, and I myself have done it several times. If we take a second to think about what we saw and give them all the benefit of the doubt I think the world would be a much better place! But hey, the world is still interesting and different and thats what keeps me inspired!
Elizabeth, It is a challenge. And I seem to get in my own way of accepting.

Angie, Hang in there.

Jen, The world IS interesting and wonderful showcasing so many precious people.
Mattenylou said…
Sometimes we are so quick to judge... I'm working on that.

I love the Rose/Peony story- what a great idea and it came out great!
Mason Canyon said…
You do make one think with your post. We do tend to judge without knowing anything of the other person. Thanks for the reminder. There are days I need it and today was just one of those days.

I'll drop over and check out your blurbs too. Thanks. :)
Gail said…
I do try to remember. My phrases I keep running through my head are "Judge not..." and we are all God's children. It helps in the weak moments.
Devon Ellington said…
Before the days of blutooth, people thought NYC was full of crazy people talking to themselves.

Yes, there are some. But there are also a lot of actors rehearsing for auditions as they run down the street.
To semi quote the Bible, Judge not so that ye shall not be judged. We all make our first impressions from the outside appearances and not see our brother's/sister's heart. It is only human and we are not perfect. I had a Special Ed. classroom for years and probably swing too far the other direction in these circumstances. I stop, talk, try to help the person and someday will probably "help" the wrong person at the wrong time. That is just who I am.

God made us all uniquely different so we can blend together like a well used recipe. Wouldn't it be boring is we were all carbon copies of one another???

God bless you sweet one and have a terrific day!!!
Mary Aalgaard said…
I like Nezzy's recipe analogy. It reminds me of a comment from a woman who saw identical twins: Those two look like they were made from the same recipe!

We all have some special ingredient, don't we?
MedSchoolWife said…
Very true. I love that quote from Mother Teresa.
Arlee Bird said…
I often tend to be very judgemental. I guess it helps me to avoid being involved with someone else -- I can just pass them off with my prejudgement. But as you have illustrated, you really never know about the other person unless you give up some of your own time. Are we really as busy as we think we are?
Carol Kilgore said…
I think most of us judge first. And some stop there, never looking for the hidden bluetooth device. Or even caring. If more of us cared, we might find more love in this old world. Wonderful post.
i love the quote and the post thanks for sharing i think we have a lot of prejudices about others without knowing them we should always remember not to judge others before knowing them enough

have a great day loves
CM said…
I don't think there is anything wrong with you being nervous at first. Sometimes, you never know if someone is high or drunk and might do something, especially since he was already acting a little strange, blue tooth or not.

That being said, yes, I too have to be careful not to judge people too quickly.
pattil said…
Beautiful post with thought-provoking hook: Why can't everyone be like me?

Probably the basis of much of the world's contentions.

I love this blog!
Mattenylou, It was great fun.

Mason,I think I am just quick to assume without investigation.

Gail, that is a good thing to remember.

Devon, I had never thought of actors!!! And what about me who talks to herself regularly in public.

Nezzy, How true!! And I am glad we are different recipes.

Mary, I think we all might be the same without that special ingredient.

Constance, Me too. Too bad I'm not THAT mother Teresa.

Lee, Very common to ignore so not to have to get involved. Her name is called Teresa. I'm trying to change.

Carol, Maybe the judging thing is a protective device.

Tugce, Judging and prejudices are related don't you think?

Cop Mama, I love the cop in you!!! I am more cautious than not and I will remain that way.

Patti, Thanks. It's been on my mind.
Elana Johnson said…
What a very inspiring post. Thanks for the thoughts!
Cindy said…
I confess my knee jerk reaction to different people like this is judgmental. I have to make a conscious effort to try to see past what seems to be to what is really going on with them. On the other hand I have a strong sense of discernment and when I feel cautious about a person I know to listen to it until I can determine if it's being judgmental or if there's a good reason for it.
Those darn bluetooth thingys! I was in the bookstore and this older man was standing next to me and he started blathering on and on and I thought he was disturbed until I spotted the bluetooth.

We used to have a schizophrenic woman in our town, she favored the small confines of our tiny post office and would often pop in and she'd be yelling nonsense and frightening people. Funny, she was kinda cute, petite, always with a neat ponytail and clean sporty clothes, but she was loony tunes. As far as I could tell, she was totally harmless. Later on I found out that one of my daughter's went to school with her daughter. I wondered how she dealt with her mother "being that way", and my daughter said she was very loving and accepting of her mother.
Terri Tiffany said…
You all did a great job over there at Janna's! I didn't participate but read it!
Unknown said…
Teresa, I am amazed at how many times I have had similar feelings. I think I am more skeptical because of having lived in the south Bronx, but you never know. No one wants to ignore instinct. It may be our last chance and then again we feel foolish for thinking the worst. I'm glad you were wrong but also glad you were cautious.
LOL! JW, your story is laughable, but in truth, I bet we're all guilty of passing such quick judgments. I know I am. But it's so important to remember we only see one view, that their are other angles, other factors, and they sometimes piece together differently than we expect.

I'm so glad you linked to our story! I'm sorry I missed it until now. But I'm also really glad you enjoyed it so much!

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