This has got to be one of the hardest posts I’ve ever written. I erased and tried to rewrite it – several times!
Last night, I was sitting at Shari’s and waiting for my friend to come buy me a piece of pie so I can cry on her shoulder, tell her all about my screw ups and hopefully come up with an attack plan. As I sat there, occasionally near spilling my coffee on myself and jumping clear out of my seat, my heart would jump in my throat and I’m quite sure it skipped quite a few beats.
The reason? There was a mentally challenged patron in the restaurant. Might have been Down’s Syndrome. I’m not quite sure. Very randomly and quite occasionally, he would spout out with words or simply sounds – oft times at the top of his voice. It was startling because it was so random. It’s just like a baby who cries or screams out in the middle of the night for no reason.
My mind wandered from here to there, jumping from one thought to another. Part of me wanted the mother/sister of this particular patron to take him home so he would quit scaring the daylights out of me. Another piece of me wanted the manager of Shari’s to ask him to stop. I wanted someone to do something to give me back my peace of mind while sitting and waiting for my friend.
To be politically correct, I needed to pretend he wasn’t there. My role in society is to act as if he is doing nothing wrong. That was perfectly fine and dandy with me – until he’d yelp and I’d jump out of my seat or spill more coffee at the suddenness of it in the middle of such a quiet restaurant. At that moment, I’d wish there was something that could be done.
Everyone deserves a chance to go out for a delicious piece of pie. Who am I to say what they can or can’t do? What right do I have to judge (there’s that judgmental thing again) another human being based on what they can’t control.
And so, I fought against my base urges the entire time I waited for my friend and I succeeded until he would, yet again, startle me into jumping clean out of my seat.
We spend most of our time trying to make sure others see us as politically correct. Our thoughts are our own and yes, at times, we all have thoughts like mine. However, one thing we have to be careful of is not our thoughts but our actions. Do we look at the mentally challenged individual who scared the pee out of us in disgust or do we simply ignore him? He’s a patron, just like any one else.
Staring him down, much like we would a mother who can’t control her child, hoping he’d take a hint and leave doesn’t do anything except hurt ourselves. Instead of striving to live for God, we’re concerned about our own comfort and want to demand someone not interfere with it.
I have struggled with this post since last night. I’ll close and just say that it was another thought towards my learning how to not judge others. With my struggles against judgmental behavior, this incident was another step towards understanding and overcoming. Other than that, I’m having a very difficult time typing out my thoughts.