This year has been a good year. I have grown so much. I have learned a lot, and I’m excited about the many days to come. I look at everything differently, and I have learned not to judge people. When people used to tell me things about other people, I would believe it instantly, now I listen, and make my own opinion about that person, by getting to know them. I started getting to know people better because we all have a story. Getting to know people was the the only way I was going to learn how to understand them. The way we act, the way we think, the things we say, comes from the experiences we have had in life. Some experiences were good, some not so good. When I meet someone, I connect with them, socially, and mentally. I learn them, which gives me understanding. People are so focus on others flaws, then accepting them for who they are. When I started getting to know people, I realized that there were a lot of hurt people. Some had a lot of hurt in their lives from what people have done to them, and the only way they knew how to express it, is by hurting others. This one man told me he didn’t want to be in a relationship, he only wanted to hook up with women, without strings attached. He was trying to be cool, but I could see right through him. What he was really saying is that he didn’t want to be hurt again, he was a respectable man, and as I got to know him, I understood him. I met a woman that said the same thing, she only wanted a man for sex, and she didn’t want anything else, she said she didn’t want to be used anymore, but she was still being used, but on her own terms. She was hurt, he was hurt, people are hurting. If we treated people as if we knew their story, then we would have more love in the world. That person struggling with weight, that you think is fat, but she’s starving herself to lose those extra pounds. That girl that wears make up because she doesn’t feel beautiful, and make up is the only way she can express herself. Once you realize that people are just like you, struggle with something, trying to move on from their past, you'll development a higher level of maturity. People can’t move on, if we keep reminding them, of where they been. I have met plenty of people in life, all with a different story. I used to be ashamed to tell my story, I had children before marriage, I was a teen mom, I’ve been abused, but now I don’t care. I was so wrapped up in how people felt about me, that I didn’t realize that they were not perfect either. I didn’t want to be like them, making someone feel less special because of the mistakes they made. They were still good people, but they didn’t have sympathy for differences. I wanted to be the opposite. When I started getting to know people, I realized it wasn’t for them, it was for me. It completely changed my life. So, remember today before you judge someone, listen to them, get to know them, understand them, you never know, they might be just like you.

“If we could look into each other’s heart and understand the unique challenges each one of us face, I think we would treat each other more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance, and care.”-Marvin J. Ashton

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