Judgemental Much?

There isn’t much to like about Seun. He has a face that only a mother could love and a wily character to match.  Yet, he successfully breaks many hearts: luring one young girl after another into his old car.

Right now, he is leaning over the said battered box car, chatting up the doe-eyed girl with the thick braids. I peek from my bedroom window, disdainfully shaking my head as the familiar scene unfolds.

Then, I recoil in shock. That girl is Funmi, my best friend!

She had better not fall for his lines!

Minutes later, they drive off to the sound of a wheezing engine.  How could she?

Pacing in my room, I decide never to speak to Funmi again.

Ibukun Sodipe

Why I wrote this

Recently, I have been thinking back to the things I used to think and say as I was growing up. I was very sheltered and naïve. I guess at some point, this was reflected in my friendships.  When I went to university, I was completely thrown in at the deep end.

Thankfully, I was able to meet well-grounded friends who had a wholesome grasp of the world. Together, we were able to navigate the challenging university lifestyle.  Today I am still close with these friends, and I am so glad I met them because honestly, they know what I used to be like.

The Characters

The narrator

A young woman, in her late teens, looks out of her bedroom window and judges from a distance as a young man woos girl after girl into his battered old car.

Seun

Picture a cunning man with an old car. 

‘He has a face that only a mother could love.’

We have been told by the narrator that he isn’t so blessed in the looks department. Could it be that Seun is trying so hard to woo these girls to make up for his unfortunate looks?

Funmi

I imagine Funmi to be completely carefree and oblivious. 

Unfolding judgemental traits

I peek from my bedroom window, disdainfully shaking my head as the familiar scene unfolds.

 I carefully selected the word ‘disdainfully’ to show how much contempt the narrator has for other people that don’t measure up to her standards.

Pacing in my room, I decide never to speak to Funmi again.

The narrator has rather harshly ended a good friendship simply because she was disappointed in her actions.  

When you call someone your best friend, it means someone you can confide in and bare your soul to.  Shouldn’t the narrator have spoken to Funmi about why she went into Seun’s car?  There is always a reason why people do the things they do.  Could it be that the narrator has a skewed view of her friend, and, because it didn’t match up to what she thought, then it all came crashing down on that fateful day?

Not so perfect, after all

‘One day, I find myself in Seun’s car.’

The narrator jumps straight to when she is in Seun’s car, and there is a reason for that, the, she is too ashamed to admit that she was flirting with the cunning guy with the unsightly face ‘that only a mother could love’. So instead, she ever so conveniently just ends up in his car. 

The ‘one day’ mentioned is further down the line, perhaps on a day she is feeling so low having lost the only friend she had, and Seun was the only person to speak to her.

‘Only then do I realise that I judged Funmi rather harshly.’

The narrator’s epiphany moment is swift, and only then does she understand what she has done.

The moral of the story

The way the narrator peeks through her bedroom window is a metaphor for how she perceives the world around her.

Some of the following points can be lessons from the story. 

  • Don’t be so judgemental to the point where you ruin correctly functioning relationships.
  • Nobody is perfect – not even you.
  • We all make mistakes.
  • Learn to empathise with each other. It is the key to every relationship.

A message to my Christian friends

Sometimes, in the Christian community, we can be very judgemental. As a Christian myself, I have witnessed this first-hand. We really need to learn to do better and have empathy.

If someone you know very well does something wrong and you are disappointed in their actions, instead of gossiping about it or cutting them off, why don’t you give them a call and get to know why they made those decisions?

There is always a reason behind the action!  Speak to them about it. Don’t disappear when they need you the most. Be their shoulder to cry on.

I firmly believe that if we do this as Christians, we would be doing our part to make the world a better place.

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