It’s Pride Day in Seattle !
But my favorite thing is how inclusive this event is. All are welcome, all are celebrated. One spectacular day where love is the star ☆
But that isn’t what this post is about. In fact, I’m not even sure how to write this at all. But I need to. It’s one of those things that will keep me awake if I don’t get it out.
While Pride Fest was great, there was another experience in the “getting there and getting home”. We took public transit into and around town. Light rail in, then a bus to Seattle Center. When we left, it was the reverse.
Coming into the city on light rail, as you turn away from I-5, you see tents scattered across medians and beneath overpasses. I’m not shocked by that. I’ve seen that coming for months. But when we were all dumped off the train into the bus tunnel, I am definitely in a different world.
Here’s the hard part for me. As much as I think I’m a pretty decent human, I judge people. I have a fear of people I don’t know, and I judge them without knowing their story. Sometimes I judge them harshly. Not really decent human being stuff.
I watched people a lot today during that “getting there and getting home”. It only takes a few hours in an urban center to sense the desperation. The sadness. The mental illness. We sat next to a woman on the bus who wouldn’t stop talking about dogs. She went on and on about how she was like a magnet today; how she didn’t have to seek them out, they were all coming to her. She was friendly enough and not threatening, but there I was … quietly judging her.
Am I the only one who does that ?
I think that to some degree we all judge others. We are walking yardsticks sizing each other up all the time. I confess. I do it a lot.
When I make the mistake of reading comments, I judge the people who wrote them. When people lie, I judge. Cheat, I judge. I judge others on their behavior when it doesn’t match mine.
These are hard truths.
The internet makes it too easy. Places like Facebook provide opportunity every day to be either superior or inferior to others. I not only judge others but I judge myself. A fool’s errand.
I suppose the day illuminated something else for me, too. I think of those in power; the lawmakers. I think of how out of touch they are with life at ground level. If someone like me can fall so easily into the trap of judgment, it must be even more, a slippery slope for them. They don’t experience the pain or desperation. They can’t even imagine what it is like for so many. They aren’t there. They don’t see it. Or feel it. How can they ever understand it enough to fix it ?
ALL lives matter. All this, to say that there is a lot of work to be done.
And it has to begin with me.