Monday, August 27, 2012

She Was So Rude...or Was She?

I want to share a story about a woman in my neighborhood.  Shortly after we moved here seven years ago, I would see this woman walking her dogs when we were taking family walks and walking our dog. I would call out hello to her and she ignored me.  At some point, I pondered that maybe she was deaf. I decided she wasn't after she did look at me after I called out to her one evening.  I would sort of fume to my husband about her.  Seriously, I thought, How can you just walk down the street and ignore neighbors calling out hello to you?  How rude is that?

It then became a mission of mine to get this woman to acknowledge me.  So, every time I saw her, I would loudly call out hello to her.  She began to look at me.  Over time, she said hello back.  Then, she began to smile back.  Eventually, we even shared a few more words about the weather or the dogs.

Then, some time passed without me seeing her out walking.  I didn't know if I wasn't out enough at the right time or if she wasn't around.  But this summer, I saw her again, with a different dog.  We walked a bit together and she told me her other two dogs passed and she was puppy sitting.  We talked about how dogs are like family.  She shared that her dogs were the only thing that got her out of bed after her husband died.

I discovered from my neighbor that her husband had committed suicide, shortly before we moved into the neighborhood.  I later talked to the woman about the tragic event in her life.  It is amazing what a strong, kindhearted woman she really is.  That was not my first impression of her.

My point in this entire story is that sometimes we misjudge people's behaviors because we don't know their story.  So, before you judge someone, maybe take a moment to wonder what their story could be to lead them to act in a certain way.  Open your heart to think that maybe, just maybe, they are going through something very difficult.

3 comments:

Julie Wood said...

Wow! This was a really great blog post! I am so glad that you shared this with your fans. I commend you on reaching out to this women and finding out her story. I know that I can be too judgmental with the neighbors and think that they are not nice. I need to remember that everyone has a story! Thanks again for sharing-this helped me to be more kinder to my neighbors!

Ruth Cox said...

Your story proves that first impressions may not always hold true. You also prove the fact that before we judge another maybe we should walk a mile in her shoes.

Your neighbor is lucky to have met up with you and hopefully she now has new reason to get up and out of the house each day. Bravo for you, Ann!

Some Lucky Dog said...

Great blog post, thanks for sharing! It'll give me something to think about the next time I'm tempted to judge a situation...

Cindy

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