Hey friends! Thanks so much for all the love! If you’ve had or have a pet, you know how difficult it is when they are sick. You also know that support from friends means everything ❤
So yesterday I loved (like I usually do) SCB’s post. It was basically a response to a hater making a judgey comment about her lifestyle.
It inspired me to write a post about reminding us to NOT judge others unless you know everything about them.
People making judgmental comments about strangers is one of my biggest pet peeves. You automatically lose a point (or more) in my book when I hear these comments.
A part of this comes from how insecure I was growing up. And I became insecure because of judgmental people. I don’t want others to feel this way.
I grew up in a nice area with a great family and friends. But there were some not so nice parts that I experienced as well. I recently had a coworker ask where I grew up and respond sarcastically and bitterly, “That must be nice.” I wanted to slap her.
I hemmed and hawed about sharing my stories (almost didn’t publish this) because they are personal (I think Kyle only really knows most of these), but I figured it might inspire 1 person to stop being so judgey. Now, you all know there are different kinds of judgey-ness. yes, that’s a word. Most of my experiences are with racism.
As you might have noticed, I am Asian American (if you haven’t noticed, you might need to visit your optometrist). Japanese American to be exact. My family has been in this country a very long time (my great great grandparents immigrated here). English was my first language, and the only languages I know beyond that are French, and a very little Spanish and Italian.
In 7th grade, we studied a little Japanese history. My teacher (whom I hated before this) read a Japanese word from the text book and asked if I knew what it meant. I told her no, and her response was, “Oh come on? You don’t know what that word means?” At the time I just laughed and said sorry, but I was actually really hurt. I wanted to tell her, “You don’t see me getting all upset that you aren’t dancing around in a kilt playing the bagpipes do you?” She had Scottish roots FYI-context helps. Growing up I was also teased at school by kids pretending to speak Japanese. Saying “ching chong” (and a bunch of other random words) and squinting their eyes at me. I don’t get that so much anymore, but it just pisses me off when people assume I speak Japanese (a common occurrence). If you have Italian, French, or German roots, I don’t automatically assume you speak the language. So stop assuming it with me.
When I was older, I had people tell me they would never date an Asian person. That’s okay, I don’t date stupid. (Keep in mind these were random conversations where dating wasn’t even being considered so it was really weird to bring up). People jokingly told me I must be a bad driver. A “friend” even said, “OMG fucking Asian drivers.” to me while we were in a car. And then proceed to say, “Not you, other Asian drivers.” I had classmates tell me to do a certain part in a group project because I must be good at math.
And it unfortunately didn’t stop when I was a teenager. A few years ago when I went up to Mt. Diablo to take photos with Kyle, Kyle stopped to take a photo for a family. I kept going to set up his tripod. A couple of guys in their early 20’s walked by me and said in a fake Mr. Miyagi-like accent, “Oh you a like to a set up da camera.” I ignored them and then left to cry in the car. I hid it from Kyle until the guys had left because I was scared of what he would do.
I could go on and on and on (down an embarrassingly long list). And yes, I know people have it way worse.
My point isn’t to get you to feel sorry for me. My point IS that I don’t think you would have known all of this about me by reading my previous blog post. You would not have known that about me if I simply told you the city in which I grew up. You would not know unless I told you.
Getting picked on when I was younger was hard, but I got over it. It shaped me into the person I am today, and at least it means I try not to judge others.
I think it gets easier to make these snap judgments about people and voice our opinions on the internet. Something about not saying things to someone’s face makes people a lot more ballsy.
So, my simple reminder is to remember that you don’t always have the whole story. Try not to judge a person you don’t know. Sticks, stones, AND words hurt.
I’ll leave you with a quote that my boss likes to use (luckily not about me):
You have 2 ears and 1 mouth. Use them in that order.