Stop It!

This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following: Stop it!

Last week, I went to Wal-Mart to exchange some workout shorts I had gotten in a wrong size (sigh…postpartum weight problems). I considered myself lucky because there was only one person in line at Customer Service. However, looking over at the actual registers, there was a long line wrapping around all the registers for the self-checkouts and the “20 items or less” lines. I was glad I didn’t have to deal with that.

As the man in front of me was being helped, an older white woman who had a slight European accent came up and asked the young employee to talk to whoever was in charge of the store. Immediately, I rolled my eyes inside my head–probably an irritated senior citizen going to complain about a product and wanted to talk to the higher-ups.(First way I was being judgemental)

While she waited, she turned to me and said, “Tell me, what do you think happened to our rights? Am I not to be treated well? I’m a citizen here and what happened to the rights of the citizen?”

My eyebrows raised. Where did that come from? Quickly I turned to look back…most of the cashiers were of a minority, as were most of the cashiers in line. Because I now live in Bible-belt, gun-wielding, conservative Texas, I assumed she was talking about the employees not being white or speaking proper English. (Second way I was being judgemental)

Immediately I got irritated at her. She was a racist and probably supported Trump. (Third way I was being judgemental…and to my conservative friends…the following was just my initial train of thought. It was judgemental, assuming, and stereotyping. I hope I don’t offend any of you!)

I looked at her and quickly said, “Ma’am, it sounds like you are a conservative and I am a liberal, so I don’t think we’d agree on anything.” (Fourth way I was being judgemental) And turned my head back to my kids. She said under her breath, “Ugh. Of course not.”

Out of the corner of my eye I saw the young employee helping the man in front of me squirm. She was Latina and put her eyes down. I felt sorry for her to have this woman judge her and other like her who worked at Wal-Mart.

Then, the older woman said, “Then tell me. I want to know. I’m a citizen. I came here and now I’m a citizen. I know my rights. When they take the system and the system is gone, what will you replace it with? What the Soviet Union does?”

Really? Are you calling me, a liberal (who still has conservative moral and religious views), a communist? And, did you just speak of the Soviet Union in the present tense?!?! (Fifth way I was being judgmental)

But, it was my turn to be helped.

I turned to her and scoffed, “Ma’am, the Soviet Union doesn’t exist anymore.” Then ignored her and focused on the employee.

As the store manager was walking up, I heard her say, “That’s what you say.”

Rolling my eyes again, I said to the poor employee who seemed very uncomfortable, “I’m sorry. Thank you so much for your hard work.” She quickly exchanged the shorts for me and I left, my head held high.

On the way to my car, I was still broiling on the inside. Had I just had my first racist encounter? I couldn’t stereotype her with some derogatory American stereotypes because she wasn’t American-born. But, how could an immigrant from Europe, where many countries are socialist, be so racist? I definitely chewed her out harshly in my head. (Sixth way I was being judgemental)

Then, a thought came to me:

STOP IT. Be positive and don’t judge.

I listened and tried my absolute best to do so. I didn’t know the entire circumstances. Maybe another shopper or a cashier was extremely rude to her. I was being extremely judgemental of her, regardless of her reasons for her comments. Just because a person is a conservative doesn’t mean they are selfish or elitist.


Our apartment complex isn’t very stroller or wheelchair friendly when it comes to the parking lot. There is a ton of assigned, covered parking, but you have to pay quite a bit. So, we use the open parking…most of which are far away from the buildings. But, there are three prime spots right by the stairs that lead down to my apartment. Everyone fights over these. They are only open in the day when everyone is gone at work. But, if I get back from errands or the park anytime after 4:30 PM, I lose my chance of getting it.

I love having that spot because I have two little kids (and groceries, diaper bags, shopping bags, strollers, etc) to carry in. I get annoyed when I don’t get it during the day, especially since many who live in our building have school-aged kids, if kids at all.

One day, when I was packing the kids into the car to run a 10 minute errand, I noticed a car stop. They had their blinker on.

They wanted my spot. My spot. was the one with the little kids. deserved that spot. They didn’t need it. A grown-up can walk further than toddlers can.

Intentionally, I took my time strapping both kids in. I slowly set up a movie for Rhys. I picked up the trash off the car floor. But, that car was patiently waiting for me to leave. I did everything I could think of to bore off this person. Nothing worked.

Finally, I got in and turned on the car. As I backed out of the space, and passed the car, knowing full well that the only open spot would be gone when I got back, I shot a nasty glare at the driver.

I immediately regretted it.

I recognized the driver and she gave a shocked, hurt look back. This was a mother, like me. But, more than that, this mother had infant twins. And she lived on the third floor. I have seen her painstakingly lift a big diaper bag, handfuls of grocery bags, and two infant carseats and carry them up all their stairs. She made me grateful I had a toddler who could walk himself and that I lived on the first floor.

She didn’t deserve that glare I gave her. She deserved that coveted spot more than I did. As I drove out of the parking lot, I heard a voice again.

STOP IT! You know better.


It may surprise you, but I’ve been told many times by those close to me that I’m vindictive, judgemental, and can sometimes just be downright mean.

I never fully embraced those adjectives–I always rationalized my actions.

But, I’ve come to realize this past year, with actions and arguments I’ve had with people, with being judgemental morally and when it came to stupid arguments about little details of shows or books, and especially with politics…  the hatred spewed on both sides (including me) during this past presidential election, and with other experiences, I have to STOP IT. 

My sister-in-law told me that she actually unfollowed me on her Facebook feed because of the types of posts I was liking and sharing. My immediate reaction was of annoyance–I knew she was a conservative and voted for Trump. I was disappointed in her for supporting him and his administration and not seeing the other side–the more tolerant side that cared about education. She is a Mormon and a teacher.

But, then I really thought. I know her. I know her personality. I know who she is. She is not my enemy. She is not allowing herself to be ignorant. She doesn’t actually like Trump, she was just voting her conscience.

I thought back to those posts. While the bottom line was what I agreed with and factual, what politically driven post on Facebook is going to be 100% rational and unbiased. I apologized to her. Since then, even if I agree with a political post on Facebook, I try to skip right by it (unless it has to do with education–that is a soap box I will always get on).

My friend, Autumn, from Stay Gold Autumn, recently wrote a post called 5 Ways to Remove Toxicity from Your World. She was very open, honest, and vulnerable in that post. And it got me thinking…was I being toxic online politically?

After these two incidents–the parking lot and Wal-Mart–I started thinking if I was being toxic myself–on the outside and on the inside.

A lesson Dieter F. Uchtdorf (my absolute favorite LDS leader) talked about judging and being toxic.

Jesus taught: “Forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not [stands] condemned before theLord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin” and “Blessed are themerciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”

Of course, these words seem perfectly reasonable—when applied to someone else. We can so clearly and easily see the harmful results that come when others judge and hold grudges. And we certainly don’t like it when people judge us.

But when it comes to our own prejudices and grievances, we too often justify our anger as righteous and our judgment as reliable and only appropriate. Though we cannot look into another’s heart, we assume that we know a bad motive or even a bad person when we see one. We make exceptions when it comes to our own bitterness because we feel that, in ourcase, we have all the information we need to hold someone else incontempt…

This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:

Stop it!

It’s that simple. We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children.

This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following: Stop it!

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That’s what I’m going to try to do. I’m going to try my absolute best to STOP IT and be kinder and have more gentle, less judgmental thoughts to others. I don’t know their situations and I shouldn’t assume. I’m not better or more right than someone else. So, my goal is to from now on, put on a smile, and have it be a real smile, full of love for everyone else.

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

  • Wow. I like the overall message of this post and feel like I need this reminder as I can be judgemental, too. I actually have had to tell myself to “Stop it!” In writing a comment here… So many hurtful and inaccurate things said about conservatives really put me on the defensive, but I’m taking a piece of your advice and leaving it alone. I get the overall message and that’s something I need to focus on, too.

    • Politics is a huge one! I felt that this past election I needed to actually speak up and out, especially since I’ve never taken initiative as a citizen before (although I hated both the Rep and Dem candidates…). But, now, seeing facebook and hearing that from my SIL (and I had never considered myself a liberal before this past election), I tell myself I need to STOP IT and just let it be. Everyone has their own opinions and that doesn’t mean one is right and one is wrong.

    • I hate how people have been generalizing and lumping people here lately. The language is very polarizing and makes everyone defensive. I think this article is a great way to go.

      • Your post really was a big influence of this. After these experiences, I felt God telling me….”remember what Autumn said….stop it. remove the toxicity.”

        • That’s so sweet of you to tell me. Sometimes it is hard to think that you’re making any type of impact. I love reading posts like this and keep on writing as well <3

  • So I’m realizing how judgmental I’ve been towards you. I always assumed you were super conservative just because I’ve also assumed you’re super religious and those tend to go hand in hand. I don’t think you should ever apologize for owning your truth and supporting things you believe in. I definitely do think there is a time and a place and I’ve been trying harder to recognize when that is. I’ve been realizing lately that I no clue where someone else may be coming from or what their perception of reality is. I can only choose to come from a place of love. Much easier said than done for sure!

    • Haha. I’ve always considered myself conservative since I don’t believe in abortion, I believe in states rights and I want to protect the definition of marriage, and other moral stuff that typically goes hand in hand with the LDS Church….but compared to my dad’s family and my husband’s family, when it comes to economics, politics, and sociology/immigrants, I’m definitely more liberal than them…so, to be honest, I like to consider myself a “liberal conservative.” Haha.

      It’s definitely hard to remove yourself from the situation and realize that you aren’t smarter or more right than other people. Love really is the only thing to do…that’s what Christ expects of us…that’s the only way to be truly tolerant.

    • I enjoy your comment because you really put yourself out there. I am probably considered super religious, but I don’t really consider myself super conservative at all. I have a lot of libertarian views.

      I teach ESL so I am extremely pro-immigration, I’m adopted so I can’t agree with abortion (but since people are going to do it anyway… I want them to have a safe way to do it), and we have several lesbian family members we spend a lot of time with (who by all means should have the financial benefits, hospital rights, insurance benefits, etc. of a spouse).

      I get very frustrated at people who are cruel and then say it is because of God (nope, nope, nope). Love what you said about choosing to come from a place of love.

      • I’m the same as you Autumn. I absolutely loved your post on why you teach ESL. I’m very pro-immigration and very anti-religion-ist (???) I don’t believe in persecuting ANY religion. I believe they ALL have truth to some degree.

        • I don’t think it would be anti-religion-ist. I think it would just be pro-“loving people like they are a child of God because they are one.”

  • dyejo

    Wow. Very powerful. Thanks for sharing this. And you are right–since we do not know what others are experiencing, we shouldn’t judge. Just lift. And listen. And care.

    • It’s a hard lesson that has to be repeated often.

  • This hit me right in the gut, especially the story about the old woman. I find myself being judgemental and getting angry that they are being judgemental back. I need to stop it, I need to relax, and I need to realize that it’s not worth it sometimes.

    • Exactly. Just because someone acts or says something you don’t like doesn’t mean you should be rude back. I have to learn that.

  • I think it is very important not to judge… we never know what the other one is going through.

    xoxo,

    Ileana

    novelstyleblog.com

    • Exactly. Thanks, Ileana.

  • Great post and great reminder! You never know what someone else may be going through, and most of the time it’s not worth or energy being upset over it anyway.

    • Exactly, Cameron. We never know.

  • You are so right…I am like you I don’t like when people treat others with disrespect. I just don;t 🙁 So yeh we should all just be POSITIVE

    • Yup. There are other ways to build people up without knocking others down.

  • Samantha Broyles

    it is so hard to be positive and not judge.

    • It really is…it’s a lifelong challenge.

  • JustOneMommysOpinion

    I’m not sure what I would do if I were in that situation. I’m a conservative and yes, I voted for Trump (Don’t hate me! lol), but when I hear people treating other people like that, it makes me sick. However, I don’t blame Trump. I blame how they were raised and how they were taught to treat other people. It all starts in the home!

    • I don’t hate your ;). I agree with you–a lot of issues today are caused because of how people were raised….people aren’t hateful by nature—it’s something that is learned.

  • Ashlea

    I honestly dont know how I would react in the first situation. I am liable to either laugh or just look at the lady like she is crazy. It is hard not to judge being raised in a society who teaches you to do the opposite.

    • In my head, I was laughing, but I was more upset…yet I should’ve controlled my words.

  • Unfortunately, we all have judgmental thoughts. Anybody who says they don’t is a liar. It’s very important to recognize them and realize if it is making us act different towards somebody or a situation.

    • That is very true, Aduke. And it’s very important to be able to learn to do better.

  • This! All of this! I’ve been talking about how we ALL need to just calm down and take a breath before we get upset at people for things. When I try to be slower to react, I tend to realize it’s not worth wasting the emotional energy.

    • It’s a hard thing to overcome with the natural man. But, when we do, that’s when we are really Christ-like.