Not Always the Way They Seem
~Don't be Quick to Judge
Five-year-old Tommy emerged from his first day at Kindergarten with a picture
that he had coloured. His mother, looking at the brihgtly coloured
pictures clutched by other children milling around, was surprised
to find Tommy's entire picture coloured with black crayon. The though
crossed her mind that something might be wrong with Tommy. But she
dismissed it, thinking, "well, this is just his first day. Tomorrow
will be better."
By the end of the week, however, Tommy had come home with five black
coloured pictures. His stressed mother could barely contain her anguish
at a son who seemed to display dark psychological leanings.
She consulted her best two friends. Finally, they phoned another
friend for a psychiatrist they could send Tommy to. This friend heard
the problem and asked, "before you resort to professional help,
why don't you ask Tommy first?"
So they asked the boy," Tommy, who do you colour your pictures
black every time?"
Oh, I sit right at the back of the class. The crayons are in the
front. By the time I get to the box, only black crayons are left.
I try to hurry to the box, but the other children hurry faster than
You might have heard this story. There are several lessons we can
learn from this story.
Lesson 1: Don't Judge by Appearance!
Relying purely on what our senses tell us can cause us to jump to
the wrong conclusions.
Lesson 2: Our Judgement of a person
is always coloured by our mental notions or interpretations
Tommy's mother interpreted the black pictures as evidence pf psychological
dysfunction. And because her mental notion was wrong, her judgement
based on this notion was also wrong.
Lesson 3: Ask! Clarify!
Clarifying a matter stretches our minds to new possibilities, interpretations
or notions that we have not been exposed to previously. Someone once
said that most problems between people could have been avoided or
solved, if they would only communicate and clarify. Often, the answer
is simpler than we imagine.
Tommy's mother could have clarified the matter with him from the
very first day. Instead, she talked to her friends, who ended up speculating
on the reason for his choice of black, and reached the same conclusion
as her- but the wrong conclusion!
Many of us check things up with people who are like us, who share
the same perceptions, notions and opinions as us. The result is that
we can end up with the same but wrong conclusion-but one which we
feel very strongly to be right, just because so many of us share it!
We need all of God's grace, all of His mercy, to help us look at
our brothers (others) through the same eyes of (the Lord) compassion,
of love, to believe God for the very best of that person to be manifested,
and to refrain from judging and to encourage in love.
*******************Letter # 13 (13.4.2003)*********************