Column: Case against judgment

‘No one asked me what was wrong, no one asked if I was OK’


courtesy of Julia Vastano

On February 12, fourth period teachers will be showing a video by Mike Smith about not judging others. Read as editor-in-chief Julia Vastano shares a story of how judgment has affected her.

Julia Vastano, Editor-in-chief

My dad pushed the front door open for me and I went into school. I just had arrived from another doctor’s appointment, one of dozens during my sophomore year. It was 10:30 and second period had just ended. Students were clustered in groups in the commons talking between bells as I shuffled in.

Every fiber of my body ached, from the skin of my feet to the spasming muscles in my back to the joints in each of ten fingers. I couldn’t open the door to go to school on my own. I couldn’t carry my own backpack. I could barely walk, and each movement (moving my leg in front of one another) made me suffer. While I normally cared about my appearence, the past few weeks I could wear nothing more than loose t-shirts and shorts. When even the slightest wind brushed my epidermis, it felt as if my entire body was on fire. At any given time my feet, legs or any other part of my body could turn purple.

A month ago I was falsely diagnosed with “psychosomatic” pain. Two weeks ago my doctors were falsely suspect of some ambiguous heart disease. A weeks ago was falsely diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. Today, my doctors confirmed I have Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome. No one at school knew about the struggle I was going through.

As I shuffled through the commons, one of those clusters of my classmates turned around, all at once, and stared at me. They stared at my jerking, shuffling motions, my outfit and the pain that showed on my face. They had expressions on their faces of mocking intrigue.  

They were judging me. No one asked me what was wrong, no one asked if I was OK, or where I was during first period. They just watched me and made judgement of my unusual behavior. Through all of the pain I felt, the judgment I felt from my classmates hurt the worse.

Though judgment of others is natural, it is something that we should refrain from when we don’t know the full story behind someone’s actions, emotions or choices. As you can see here even the act of judging can be rude and hurtful.

When watching the Mike Smith video today in your fourth period, please consider this perspective and remember a time you felt unfairly judged. I hope that this story and your own reflections will help you chose to not judge others.