So, you think you know where I am coming from. You label me. You don’t say it aloud, you don’t have to. The implied can speak volumes.
I am far from being non-judgmental too. I try not to be, and it takes a lot of effort to come out of my own confined perspective, step out of the sidewalk, march onto the other side and know what it is actually like to be someone else. It’s tedious, but worth it. Opinions are created in a jiffy. I like you. I don’t like you. Opinions are based on others' opinions. Why bother to know for yourself? Who has the time?
When I was posted as an intern at the Nephrology Department, I was overworked and constantly irritated. A 40 year old man who was admitted for dialysis. Every morning, after the clinical rounds, he tried to tell me about his life, his job as a school teacher, his daughter and his political views. I reluctantly indulged these conversations for the first two days. Then I avoided him. He felt confused and hurt by the sudden restraint in my demeanor. But I justified it to myself that I can’t always have a sunny disposition or have enough time for every single patient I encounter. His continued attempts to converse with me irritated me enough on the fourth day and I told him quite coldly, “Well, unlike you, I have work to do.” I had already formed an opinion about him in my mind, a social leech. He didn’t bother to talk to me after that. I cringed inwardly but I just let it be. I came in to the ward at 9pm for the night duty. I found him asleep, and tiny hands wrapped around his neck in an embrace, as his daughter cuddled next to him. My heart melted. It was the exact way I cuddle up to my father. This man was a devoted father, loved his family, and tried to keep upbeat during his illness. I had hastily decided he was unworthy of being heard based on few minutes of interaction. I knew it was unfair and felt ashamed. This is just a minor example. We do it more often than we are aware of. Every single day.