I Need To Practice More Of What I Preach…
It isn’t easy admitting faults or at least it isn’t always easy for me to do so. I guess that is one of the issues with being human. Back a few weeks ago I wrote a post about the difference between judging and being judgmental and I have fallen into the trap of being judgmental.
There is a guy who has moved into our neighborhood a few months ago and until recently I had no idea he existed. He never comes out of his house, I never see him driving his car and he is a peculiar guy. Okay I’ll come right out and say it, he is strange.
On July 4th I was cleaning my car and out of nowhere this gentlemen is standing right beside me like he just appeared from thin air. It startled me to such a degree that I thought he was a ghost. It was right at dawn with no one around but the two of us. He had a giant grey Afro which, at first glance, looks like a clown wig. He wears a white chef’s coat or white button down Oxford shirt with a pair of colorful pants and Puma shoes. If you imagine this image standing beside you in the early hours of the morning I think you might understand my shock.
The strange thing is he just stood there looking down at me as I cleaned my tires. I asked him if everything was okay to which he mumbled something and just walked off. It startled me to such a degree that I called the police. Long story short he is my neighbor.
When I mentioned this to the staff who work in the model home they informed me his name if Frank and that several other residents have complained/asked about him. I was informed that he has some social skills issues and recently lost his mom who was his caretaker. He now has no family, no friends and is not able to work. The suspicion is that he is on the autism spectrum and simply does not possess the capacity of holding conversations or interacting on a social level.
Now obviously I didn’t know this when I first encountered the gentleman. But I feel terrible for thinking this guy was just some type of serial killer weirdo stalking the neighborhood in the wee hours of the morning. I would see him out walking and think “that guy is just weird. Why is he out walking dressed like that and never speaks to anyone?” My brain went in to instant judgment mode.
It’s funny how easily that can happen. I took my first impression and created a complete profile of the guy without knowing one single thing about him. And then come to find out the man lost his mom who happened to be his caretaker for the last 45+ years and he has is challenged with a condition that makes it incredibly difficult to interact with other people. I can only imagine how his world must feel now.
I tried to speak to him a few days ago, but he just looked down, mumbled something and kept walking. I’m not going to badger him instead I will say a simple “good morning” and let him go about his way.
I wish my brain didn’t do the judgment thing, but I guess it is part of being human.
Have a great Saturday.