23 things I learnt at 23 – lesson 2: do not judge someone else’s decisions

In the 23 days leading up to my 24th birthday I am writing one blog a day on the 23 lessons I learnt at 23. Here goes lesson number 2.

Just because someone has made a decision that you deem wrong or unethical does not deserve them being judged. We cannot possibly understand the choices of others, so it’s best to exercise tolerance instead.

Sometimes we have an idea in our head of who we are and what we deem to be right and wrong, but this year has taught me that we can never know what is right and wrong either for us or for others. We spend a lot of our time judging people for the decisions they make but at 23 I have truly learnt that if we do we are the ones in the wrong.

I believe now that we can never hope to understand the decisions made by others, because we shouldn’t, how could we? We aren’t them, we haven’t had the life or experiences they had, we do not know their mind and their feelings. So it’s best, where sympathy and empathy fail, to exercise tolerance. To stop judging, as hard as that may be when we feel someone has done something that goes against everything we believe to be right. Instead, we must just nod, accept their decision as the right one for them, and be silent. In the end, if it is the wrong decision they will feel the effect, but we are in no position to tell them they are wrong or to say it serves them right.

This is a lesson I hope stays with me, and one I will remind myself of any time I feel myself placing my ethics above someone else’s decisions.

23 lessons I learnt at 23 – lesson 1

In the 23 days leading up to my 24th birthday, I will be writing one blog a day of 23 things I learnt at 23. So here goes, lesson 1…

We spend far too much time at work to hate our jobs

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(Image credit to Leadership NUGGETS)

Although these aren’t in any particular order, I felt this had to come first as it was one of the most important things I learnt at 23. I spent a year somewhere I was miserable, and it made me realise how much damage being miserable at work does to you. Since I changed jobs and now enjoy it again, I have realised this even more. There is no good reason for every morning to be spent forcing yourself just to get out of bed because you so dread your job.

It changed who I was, I became frustrated easily, I lost my general positivity, and most frustratingly, I lost my confidence in my abilities and in who I am as a person. However, this lesson also triggered a series of others that have been a positive learning experience for me.

I learnt how determined and driven I am, how ambitious I am, and how strong, because despite my daily struggle just to get in to work I lasted every day, I did not cave, I continued to work, and work hard, because I knew where I wanted to get to and I knew giving up wouldn’t get me there. I spent each day going in, trying to prove myself and although I don’t think I ever did, what mattered to me was that I walked away from that job knowing I had tried my utmost to make it work. I have been able to start a new job knowing my strength, and knowing that I am capable of getting through. It has also made me realise what I cannot do too and made me surer than ever that third sector comms is my passion above all.