I heard a beautiful story from Chuck Swindoll and I decided it was worth sharing in my own words.
The story begins: Every year at Thanksgiving, a large legal firm would bring all their attorneys into a large boardroom and hand out a turkey for each one of them as a gift during the season of giving. Unfortunately, there was a single attorney in the firm that honestly dreaded it each year because he spent Thanksgiving alone and dreaded having to take another 20lb turkey home again this year.
The day came for the attorney’s, one by one, to come in and get their annual turkey. Each one probably thought cash would be much better or possibly a partnership in the firm, but this what they were given. When the single attorney approached the boardroom and was given his turkey, he did his best to seem grateful when departing. As he left the boardroom, laughs began among some of his co-workers who had decided to play a major prank on him. They stuffed his fake turkey with junk and wrapped it in paper mache’ – maybe even adding a note like “you sucker!” and filled it very full so it would weigh nearly 20 lbs.- just like all the real turkeys that were given out this day.
Well, later that evening the attorney grabbed his “fake turkey” and headed home on the bus. He had no idea what he was going to do with this huge turkey. Finally, the bus stopped and a gentleman entered the bus and sat next to him. They struck up a conversation and the attorney learned that this man recently lost his job and was struggling to make it financially for his family of several children and a wife. Immediately, the attorney thought about giving this man his turkey, but thought to himself, “No he will be full of pride and not take a hand-out,” so the attorney asked the man, “How much money do you have on you right now?” The man looked in his coat pocket and pulled out $2.38 so the attorney said, “I will sell you this turkey for your thanksgiving for $2.38.” The man gratefully replied as he took the turkey in exchange for the money and smiled and said, “Sold!” AND, the man returned home a very happy man.
The following Monday, the attorney returned to work and all his “practical joker co-workers” were so eager to hear what he thought when he unwrapped his large turkey. The attorney could not wait to tell them every detail of how he sold the turkey to a man truly in need because he still felt so good about this act of kindness he was able to provide.
All of the attorneys spent the next several weeks near that same bus stop hoping and praying that the same man would return so they could explain what happened and make it right.
We judge when we have no right to judge! The attorney was truly trying his best to do something right for someone in need being completely innocent of the prank played on him; however, can you imagine what the man felt like when his family opened the turkey and found what was inside- “you sucker”? The man may have said in complete despair and embarrassment , “I should have known, it was another crooked attorney.”
We judge people because of profession- crooked attorney, sleazy car salesman, lying politicians, etc. when sometimes, this is the only job available for someone to provide for their family. We really need to be careful.
Bottom line: Judging occurs because of a deep level of insecurity; therefore, we want to bring others down to our level. This happens because of pride, jealousy, and envy that take root in our hearts.
In my new book coming out later this year, Marvel in your Autistic Eyes, Character lessons from my son, this is one of the character qualities that I highlight that children with autism do NOT struggle with. They accept everyone and never place labels on anyone for anything.
Do you and I need to take some inventory of the time we spend judging others? Sadly, for me, the answer is definitely, “yes.”
Make today a new day full of acceptance no matter what and see how much better you will feel at the end of the day…
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you”…Matthew 7:1-2