What if we chose empathy instead of judgement?

I had this very random memory of this woman I had an encounter with like, I don’t know, well over a year ago. I don’t know why she popped into my head, but she did. We were getting our nails done at the same time. I was looking forward to the ‘me time’ and she was there with her toddler, who well, wasn’t very well behaved. I remember being so annoyed with this woman. Passing so many judgements. She appeared to be much younger than me, so many eye rolls to myself of ‘who brings their toddler to the nail place?!’ And then some other judgments I’m too embarrassed to state in writing. But I think you get my point.

So when this memory popped into my head I had this thought: what would it have hurt to show her a little empathy and grace? Maybe she was looking forward to her ‘me time’ too and she didn’t have a sitter. Maybe the behaviors I witnessed are common and she is exhausted and just wanted to be pampered (fair!) Maybe she has no family around to watch her child. And well, maybe it’s none of my business of why she brought her toddler to the nail salon (ouch, that one kind of hurts).

I’m certain that I gave her the side-eye multiple times during our time together. I didn’t speak a word to her, but I’m certain my non-verbals showed my annoyance. I kind of pride myself on being an empath, but man, I showed no empathy to this young woman that day. All judgements.

Which brings me to this; What could that scenario have looked like if I could have just put my judgements aside and put myself in her shoes and just extended empathy and grace?

I have to believe that if we just showed empathy towards one another rather than judgement, we find ourselves in a much more loving place.

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