This weekend Darrell and I enjoyed Surrey’s inaugural Fusion Festival – a celebration of music, food and dance. Saturday evening was a free performance by six-time Grammy award winning Irish band The Chieftains. We arrived extra early to ensure we had a space on the raised viewing platform. I parked my scooter beside an elderly Asian woman slumped down in a manual wheelchair.
The woman briefly responded with her sunken eyes when I pulled in beside her, and then her attention returned to wherever it was previously. She was fully covered in a blanket and a scarf, despite the day’s heat. All I could see was her frail face with lines of wisdom. I sensed her eyes had seen much in her lifetime. I felt honoured to sit beside her.
Her daughter, daughter-in-law or niece-type-person returned to care for her. I moved to Darrell’s other side to give the pair more room. The elderly woman did not move; she was moved. Juice was poured into her mouth; she did not drink. She was repositioned and recovered. All was done with gentle tenderness, and without any response in returned.
Then she smiled the purest smile I have ever seen. At her age, she has no need to fake a smile to impress people, to be liked. It was a smile of joy in that brief, fleeting moment; like a light that flickers before going dark for the final time.
A tinge of guilt then crept through me. Without knowing anything more about this woman than what I had witnessed in those few moments, likely a blink of an eye in her lifetime, I assumed that life had ceased to flow in her, that she was down to her last trickle – and that I wouldn’t want to live like that. I had done to her what I wish others wouldn’t do upon seeing my jerky, awkward movements and hearing my unintelligible voice: I had passed judgment.
I then began wondering if it is possible to not pass judgments, if we are truly honest with ourselves. Are we humans that evolved and enlightened not to judge others, even occasionally? Or, perhaps, what really matters is what we do with that judgment? Do we proceed as if that judgment is true? Or do we acknowledge that judgment and look deeper to see beyond?
What do you think? Is it possible for humans not to pass judgment? Or is the key to allow that judgment to continue passing through our mind and right on out the other side?If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a cafe mocha. Thanks kindly.