Occasionally, on a bad day, it's hard for me not to "reverse-judge" people based on their appearance. Instead of judging them negatively, I judge too positively.
I'm out at a store and see other families, and I think: "Look at them, with their perfect hair and their perfect skin. Not a care in the world."
It's completely unfair. It's unfair to them and unfair to me. At first the thought would just creep in. And now, I am trying very deliberately to fight judgments like that. It will only lead to unnecessary bitterness.
I remind myself that just because you can't see someone's problems, it doesn't mean they don't exist.
To see someone in a wheelchair, to see a family with a child with Down syndrome, or to see an amputee - it is a little more obvious that there are challenges that people with physical/mental disabilities must overcome in their lives on a daily basis.
But that family, the one that appears so perfect? Maybe their child has severe learning disabilities and struggles in school. Maybe they are undergoing a lot of stress as they put their elderly parents in a nursing home. Maybe they are stuck in a life where they spend more than they make and constantly fight about it. Maybe one of them just lost their job.
We ALL have our challenges.
Don't get me wrong either - I don't look at my life and think I have it any harder than anyone else. But sometimes, on the really hard days, the really down days, it's easy to compare to those who seemingly have no problems.
It's easy to feel jealous at financial success of businesspeople without giving thought to the hours upon hours of work they put in to get there. It's easy to see a stay-at-home mom and judge that she probably has a high-earning husband and meets friends for coffee dates, without giving regard to the fact that maybe instead she clips coupons, rarely buys new clothes and makes sacrifices to be at home with her children. It's easy to become annoyed at a father whose child is throwing a fit, without considering that maybe he is doing it all on his own.
Appearances - both "normal" and unique - usually tell only a small part of a person's story.
Just as I don't want people to treat Brenna differently because of her skin, because of the way she looks, I know it's very important not to judge or treat people who appear "perfect." Because no one is perfect, and no one is without struggles.