Before We Judge

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There’s been a lot of chatter about recent events broadcasted in the media such as: the boy who fell into the gorilla exhibit, the family who put a baby bison into their vehicle and the ever so popular presidential campaigns. With these conversations comes a lot of views. Some positive. Some negative. This makes complete sense because we are coming from a society where we have freedom of speech and we are all unique, thus creating the situation where we have varying views. I find this to be exciting because it gives us the opportunity to share different perspectives and to perhaps learn from one another. However, what bothers me is when social media begins to go against someone before having all of the facts. This happens time and time again. People read something, or – more likely – watch something, on the news and they take it as 100% factual. That would be great if the media only presented the complete truth and never edited pieces of interviews to sculpt them into something else; however, that is not the case. There are many times when the media shifts how it presents news so that it hits the angle that they wish to target. Today I read a perfect example.

If you’ve been keeping up to date on the recent news, you heard the story about the family who put a baby bison in their vehicle while visiting Yellowstone National Park. Now, when I first read about this, from various news outlets, I thought, “Why did the family do that? The poor animal didn’t have to die. They should’ve left it alone.” I think this response might have been common from what I’ve heard others say over the weeks (except for my brother-in-law who took it as a sign that we should adopt a bison for my son’s birthday LOL). Now, fast-forward to today. 

Several media sources are reporting the story with a bit of a twist. Check out the ABC video here. This is what really got me. Reports were made about how they carelessly took this animal into their vehicle and then it had to be euthanized because it was rejected by its herd. However, the reason that the man and his son took the baby bison makes so much more sense once you hear their perspective. In Africa, where the father was a farmer, you take an animal like this to the rangers and they raise it in a safe location. This is what the family thought would happen in this park in America.
Yes, I understand that this is America and that one should know the guidelines for wherever they are, but hearing their side of the story really puts things into perspective. It makes me regret judging them based on the initial reports. It reminded me that we should not assume that we understand the circumstances surrounding an event based on how they are presented to us. There’s always another side of the story. There are often slants taken in reporting to lead the reader/listener to a certain judgement. Instead, we should remain open to researching the situation before making judgements. We should remember that even if we are present at the event, we will never understand 100% of the viewpoints felt by all of those involved. We can draw conclusions and we can express our thoughts/feelings, but should we really be in the seat to judge others? I’m guilty of doing this and it is something that I am aiming to do less of because I’m a participant in this thing called life, not the Judge of the human race.

Ahmeli…that we will be more open to listening to one another and participate less in judging others.

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5 thoughts on “Before We Judge

  1. Yes, judging too quickly can be dangerous. And the problem is, people love to judge… it gives one the feeling of superiority, of knowing right from wrong, of being on “the good side” – and who would not want all that? So, actually not judging takes quite an effort.

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    • I agree. I have to make a conscious decision to NOT judge. Reminding myself that I do not have the best solutions in life, helps me to regulate my thoughts and lessen my impulsive reaction to judge others when I see/hear something I disagree with. It is a balance though because it is also important to be honest with one another. It does not seem right to not say something to someone out of fear that the person might think you are simply judging them. Personally, I prefer honest feedback from others, even if I don’t agree, because it can lead to future growth.

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  2. You are so right. I usually try to wait to write about a situation until I know I have most of the facts, but admittedly, I have jumped the gun and judged before knowing all the facts a few times. Good post! We all need to stop and think before we speak … or write …

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    • Yet sometimes we might stop and collect facts, only to find that the people whom we got the facts from were misrepresenting them. This creates another challenge. I find that to be in a struggle in blogging. I know successful bloggers suggest providing data/facts, but how do you determine if the source is genuinely credible? (Even the well-named ones.) A challenge indeed.

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