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Things are 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 me!"

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.

Be encouraged.

*******************Letter # 13 (13.4.2003)*********************

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