How Wikipedia Taught Me an Important Lesson on Judging Others

By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.” –Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I was digging around on Wikipedia on Betty Ford. Interesting—she had a friend, Leonard Firestone, who helped her found the Betty Ford Center. I bounce to Firestone’s page and skim the quick facts in the righthand box.

He had three wives! So much for loyalty. I skim the rest of his page. I get to his personal life.

His first wife died of cancer.

His second wife died of cancer.

Ugh, I can’t believe how quick I was to judge him for having three wives! Here, the poor man had to watch a woman he loved die of cancer, not once, but twice.

Be Slow to Judge and Quick to Encourage

Thankfully, this lesson was with a computer screen in front of me and not a living person.

We grow up hearing, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” We’ve all felt someone giving us a look and wanted to respond, “Don’t judge me.” No one likes to be judged. We’ve been told not to judge, we’ve experienced being judged, we know that we’re not perfect, and yet, we still catch ourselves judging others.

So as a reminder, take the time to understand someone’s story.

Don’t judge them for having three wives until you find out why. Don’t judge them for using drugs until you find out that under the same circumstances, your choice probably wouldn’t have been any different.

Instead, let’s encourage and help each other. Let’s always be looking for the positive in a person.