That beautiful, flawless girl, who is always laughing in your math class, and you sit there thinking how perfect she is and how you wish you were just like her. Or you sit their thinking she is a stuck up bitch because of her Jcrew outfits and Lilly Pulitzer agenda book, rolling your eyes each time she speaks. You follow her on Instagram and it proves your vision of her, regardless of which one it is. But what you don't know? She takes antidepressants every morning before math class, and she laughs so much because she doesn't want people to know the truth. She wears nice clothes because she is overcoming an eating disorder and she is trying to hard to feel good about herself for the first time in her life. Her life is not perfect, in fact, she cries herself to sleep every night but she would rather die than have anyone know, so she puts on the act that you see everyday. That's the danger of a single story. You never know what someone is going through, because the way someone presents themselves every day is not how they are behind closed doors.
Or how about that jock in your English class? The one who all the guys secretly look up to, wishing they were as athletic as him. The one the girls swoon over and desperately want to date. Or maybe you look at him and call him "that jerk in your english class," because you think he is the biggest tool around and that he's a total player. What you don't know? The only reason he started playing sports was to escape his abusive household, and he needed somewhere to let out his aggression. He is still a virgin because he is scarred after his parents messy relationship and divorce. It is impossible for anyone to know what someone has gone through or what they are currently dealing with.
We are so quick to cast negative or positive judgements on the people we meet and it does absolutely no good. People cast these same judgements on us too. On numerous occasions I've had people tell me I have the "perfect life" or they "wish they were me" and honestly I laugh because it is so far from the truth. I sit here and write this blog, and I am relatively open, but there are certain things that no one would ever know from looking at me, or even being my friend, so I cannot stress enough how you don't really know someone's life until you walk in their shoes. I know there are some people who I personally admire and at times think "wow I wish I were more like them," but then I realize how I feel when people have said that to me. The people I admire have no doubt had their fair share of struggles and their lives are no more perfect than mine is. And the reason I point out these observations is because I feel as though it's so important to be aware of the rawness of others lives.
Nothing is ever like it seems. Instead of judging others, or wishing you were someone else, just love yourself and love others. Replace judgement with understanding. Understand that there is more to people than what is on the surface, and dare to dive deeper into the lives of those that matter to you. And most of all, be kind. It's honestly so simple. A smile, a friendly hello. We encounter hundreds or maybe thousands of people a day, and each one is dealing with their own struggles. Stop thinking the grass is greener on the other side, because honestly we are all just trying to keep our own lawns as green as possible. But sometimes the weeds get overgrown, and the luscious green lawn gets a bit brown and dry, and it's the same with people. What may seem perfect, takes a lot of maintenance to keep up with, and sometimes it gets a little messy and hard to manage.
Don't judge a book by it's cover and focus on watering your own grass.