* This post is to remind you to not pass judgement, the man in the blog is just an example, not the purpose.
When soulful topics find their way into unplanned photographs, you get some amazing insights.
Take this photo by Anna May for example:
I’m standing under rather the 2nd Street bridge in downtown Louisville on a beautiful summer night. It was rare for their to be traffic on I-64 at that time of night but it was during the final stages of the adjustments getting made to Spaghetti Junction; which had cars and semis bumper to bumper. Yet there wasn’t a car attempting to go up the ramp into the chaos less than 100 feet away.
Anna and I were in it for the shot so we thought it was serendipitous to have the opportunity. Just as we started playing in the lane, three men walk by and I paused because I get nervous around others when shooting, it’s just awkward. So I stepped onto the sidewalk and Anna and I talk for a minute as they pass.
Right as we begin to talk, a man approaches us and asks for money. We’re both purseless so we can’t give him anything. He focused on my hand and told me that he hopes I never know what it’s like to not have anything in a mildly condescending way.
He walked away when he saw the men turned around and were walking back toward us. We went to our car soon after but not before we took the shot above. Right after we shot it, a few cars came driving up the street towards me and all turned in other directions as they saw the traffic that awaited them.
I didn’t notice he staring at my engagement ring till he was already gone. Then I apologized to Anna for wearing it, I never meant to attract a negative moment from an innocent style selection.
Funny thing though, I only wear it when I’m working on my blog or for events that require a glam-ish look. Otherwise, I’m in an athletic ring I purchased for daily life.
It was then that I became frustrated. Not because he was asking for money but because he made an assumption about me that isn’t true. He assumed that I’ve had a luxurious life full of money without any problems; which is the farthest thing from the truth.
Just like the multiple assumptions people think about you when they don’t know you just of you.
– I grew up starting low and moved to middle-class when both parents were working in the careers they chose from putting themselves through college.
– I’ve worked for every dime I have and spend.
– I put myself through college.
– I’ve lived paycheck to paycheck.
– I’ve moved 21 times in 34 years.
– I currently have 5 full-time jobs.
– I’ve hit rock bottom and lived to talk about it.
– I struggle with Crohn’s & Colitis on a daily basis.
– A lot of other things that are private.
All of these things add up to make me, me.
I don’t anticipate to ever have the opportunity to tell that man any of this because the likelihood of seeing him again is rather slim. But the encounter we had serves a great reminder that no one can see your past and they sure as hell don’t know what you’re made of. They only see the things that lie on the surface. He’s no better than a anyone that makes their assumptions about you.
This blog is for those that do read this and make assumptions on other people’s lives. Be kind and realize you don’t know them at all.
People see your smile, your life as you post it, and everything else you put out into the universe but now one knows the struggle it took to get you to where you are. However, there will be times where they don’t deserve to know a single thing about you because they’re going to judge you regardless. In that case, let them. It only shows who they are, not who you are.
Remind yourself of who you are, where you come from, how you live, and even the ways you give back in philanthropy.
Allow these things to power you through adversity because eventually you’ll come to a place where you’ll feel as though you’re lost in a sea of people. Everyone’s pushing forward, as if they’re in bumper to bumper traffic not knowing where they are, how long they’ll be there, and holding onto anger of the traffic and struggle as if it’s their only lifeline.
But there is always an opportunity to be on a different path where you choose love over hate. You may feel like a vulnerable loner but eventually you’ll see there are others just like you. They see the chaos of the people moving in the same space, never learning alternate routes but they know they’re not like them.
If you’re on a path alone, there will be judgements from people who know nothing of you but don’t shut down. Instead, keep your eyes peeled for the others coming your way. They’re on the horizon and they’ll arrive right when you start to believe that you’ll be alone forever.
Proceed through the green light with reckless abandon. Your future awaits you.