“Don’t judge me” is increasingly becoming a popular and pervasive statement, especially among the 16 year old – 35 year old crowd. I’m not against people judging me or anyone else. However, you must be qualified to judge others. You should not be really serious about your use of “don’t judge me.” While I think that it’s quite entertaining when I see “don’t judge me” used on Twitter and Facebook, you really should not be too concerned about what people say about you. I’m not, however, saying that you should not totally overlook what people say about you and that you should not respond to some things people say about you. You should not overlook some things people say about you and you should respond to some things people say about you. However, I want to devote my dominant attention to my argument that you must be qualified to be an effective judge.
We cannot stop people from judging others and we should not try to prevent people from judging others. What I would like for those who are committed to judging others is for them to be qualified about the things and aspects of people they judge. For example, so many true and supposedly heterosexual people are quick to make a determination about whether a man is gay. They will look at surface level things and rush to a quick judgment and call him gay. As a deep and committed intellectual, I’m bother by how so many people will make a sweeping conclusion about someone’s sexual orientation and/or identity by just observing him in such a short amount of time. Every man does not have a deep voice. Every man does not and has no desire to “bust slack.” Every man does not and cannot walk in a way that’s predominantly perceived by society as a “heterosexual way of walking.”
By the way, is there some class available that heterosexual men or women teach that men who want to learn how to walk like the typical heterosexual man can attend to learn this style of walking? If so, I would like for you to let me know so that I can tell the people who are not committed to simply being themselves where they can attend this class. Thanks in advance.
Some people even get a thrill out of being able to “detect” when a man is gay. If the man does not reveal to you that he’s gay, then what makes your determination that he’s gay an intelligent judgment? I’m not suggesting that you have to be gay to determine whether a man is gay, but your conclusions should not be based on the most inane surface level things that you see and hear. What prevents you from mustering the courage to personally ask the man if he’s gay? Always do this in an appropriate way because the method you elect to ask him can amount to nothing more than an attack, even if this was not your true intent. If you are truly serious about being an effective judge, then why won’t you do the work that’s necessary to truly get to the bottom of your claims? It amuses me sometimes and flummoxes at other times how someone can hear and/or see things out of context and then immediately arrive at a conclusion that someone is gay.
Always put things in their proper contexts.
People make judgments about myriad phenomena besides sexual orientation. I selected to use sexual orientation as my primary example because sexual orientation is a phenomenon people often make swift judgments about without any critical thought. Another example I could have focused on at length is about how people make judgments about others being smart. People who are not smart are hasty to tell others that they are smart. While their determinations may be true, what are the values and principles they employ for making their claims? Do they even have any values and principles? I could continue on and on with examples.
If you’re going to judge people, then make as strong of an effort as possible to ground your judgments in truth. Try to avoid making judgments about things you have limited or no knowledge about. Be real with yourself too and don’t try to pretend that you know everything. If you want to be a qualified judge, then you need to focus on substantive things when you make your judgments. While I certainly don’t have a problem with people judging others, I just don’t want you to end up looking like a fool because you focused on the wrong things and your conclusions materialize to be completely wrong.
Don’t be a fool. Make informed, substantive, and wise judgments.
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison
I hate to be the one to tell you but you’re not going to be able to fool people forever. A person does not have to be the most intellectually sophisticated individual to recognize a pattern of being used by you. People will eventually recognize when you only communicate with them when you want something from them. Folks will start to notice that you only respond back to their text messages, Facebook messages, tweets, emails, and phone calls when you want something. In due time, people will see that you make everything about yourself. Many people who like to try to get over on people will only be upbeat around them when they are planning to ask them to do something for them.
It’s amazing how people will become your best friend when they want you to give them money and/or sex. It’s just a harsh reality that some people will be in your life just for what they can get out of you and from you. Now, I’ve written about these people who try to use you in Don’t Be A Leech!, and told you that you have to get rid of people who don’t value you in Spring Clean, but we need to explore why we continue to maintain relationships with people who just use us.
What is it about us that allows us to maintain relationships with people who use us? For the purposes of this article, when I refer to the word “relationships,” I mean relationships of all types, including friendships, marriages, intimate relationships, family relationships, business relationships, and etc. One of the dominant reasons why many of us, in my opinion, continue to maintain relationships with people who just use us is we are just selfless. This selflessness, however, can lead us to blindness for a certain period of time. The blindness that we experience for a certain period of time can cause us to intentionally or unintentionally overlook deliberate attempts by people to use us.
There’s a clear difference between people receiving from you because they are in need of your help, but that’s completely different from people who just are taking advantage of your selflessness and willingness to help them because they know the vulnerabilities of your selflessness.
When you are selflessly giving to people, make sure that you get something in return from them—that something can be as simple as a “thank you” or acts and/or words that evince gratitude.
Lately, I’ve witnessed how I will do substantial things for people and will not even receive any responses from them, not even responses that tell me “thank you” or that they received what I sent them. Some people seem to think that it’s my job to help them, and when I try to see if they received what I’ve sent them, I will not even get a reply from them via text message, email and/or telephone. Now, I want you to bear in mind that many of the substantial things that I have done for them involved me staying up all night to complete. I very much appreciate these people for giving me an education that I could have never obtained through my undergraduate and graduate training.
What I’ve learned is that you cannot allow yourself to become a blind giver. You have to be a wise giver. When you allow yourself to become a reckless giver, you open yourself to allowing others to exploit you. I’ve learned from those who have used me that you have to do a simple evaluation of everyone who you help. If these people are not giving you at least a sincere “thank you” in return for what you do for them, then please disassociate yourself from them. You don’t have to have a major altercation with them. All you need to do is don’t answer their phone calls, text messages, emails, and etc.—much in the same way that they have done to you for certain periods of time until they needed something else from you.
Don’t you just love when people try to act like they didn’t get your text message, Facebook message, direct message on Twitter, phone call, and/or email, but you see that they have tweeted several times since you contacted them and/or have updated their Facebook status after you have contacted them?
I urge you to discontinue relationships with people where they are just using you. These types of relationships simply bring you down inevitably. Don’t let your great selflessness turn into unintentional or intentional blindness. When people fail to demonstrate how appreciative they are of you when you clearly deserve appreciation, then remove these people from your life. At the end of the day, you cannot let your selflessness turn into stupidity.
For those readers who know me and you think this article is addressing you, it probably is. If I don’t tell you first, just ask me and I will let you know. I don’t do third person—never have and never will. When have you known me to hold back anything that I have to say to you and/or about you? Exactly!
Love responsibly. Give responsibly. Help responsibly. Be responsible.
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Rootlessness means lacking foundation and purpose. People who embrace randomness are increasingly becoming more popular across the nation. It seems the nation has a fascination with the random things that people do. A growing number of people are consuming much more of their time with doing random things. Even on Twitter, you will see many people type #random for a thought (or utterance) that comes out of nowhere and/or that makes absolutely no sense. Because many people refuse to stay focused for even two minutes during a conversation, they will say, “I know this is random but…” They don’t want to sit still long enough to continue a coherent conversation. They have so many random things that they want to say that they don’t make it possible to have a coherent conversation. When you have a conversation with someone who embraces randomness, you better be prepared for the conversation to take all kinds of unexpected twists and incoherent transitions.
Many people enjoy randomness so much that their enjoyment of randomness renders them fundamentally useless. It seems like many people consume most of each day doing random things and living random lives. Have you ever just stopped and asked yourself why do people love randomness? These people suffer from rootlessness. They have failed to establish a strong foundation for themselves and have not identified their true purpose in life. If you consume most of your day with trivial things, then you suffer from rootlessness. A rootless person is a dangerous person. Rootless people have the capability of doing anything without notice, including things that can cause others around them to die. When you are truly rootless, you are unstable.
I know rootless graduate and professional school students who should be spending more time with conducting research in their fields, but will elect to devote a significant amount of their time to trying to come up with random outfits that are going to catch people’s attention. These graduate and professional students will spend a great amount of time on putting things on Facebook and Twitter just to get attention. The stuff that they post on Facebook and Twitter never has any substance—it’s just stuff that they know will get a reaction from the people who see it. To invest such a considerable amount of time on inconsequential stuff like this is a problem. You may say, “Antonio, you are making more of this than it really is,” but I want you to know that many people are wasting lots of their time on doing random things.
I wish that those who get a significant amount of attention for having a true commitment to being random would not receive so much attention from those of us who know we should not be entertaining their randomness. When people who are embracing randomness reveal their ignorance, we should not simply laugh at them—we need to tell them that they are being stupid. We need to ask them what’s ailing them. If we really care about them or just care about people in general, we need to help them to work through their rootlessness. Let’s help people to understand the how and the why behind their randomness. Many people who love randomness may not really understand why it is that they do what they do. You can make a true difference in a person’s life by simply asking him or her to think critically about why he or she does the things that he or she does.
When an adult constantly does random things every day, there’s something wrong with this adult. Doing random things every day evinces a person’s immaturity. Start to challenge adults who love to be random to replace their randomness with substance. Don’t simply stand by and let people waste their lives being fools. I want you to understand that people who are regularly random are people who suffer from rootlessness. They need someone to care for them. They need someone to help them to develop a foundation and a purpose. Be that person that they need to change their lives for the better.
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison