For two years now these words were my moral restraint as they kept rising in my head ever since the MC repeatedly sang it in one occasion I attended. They probe my conscience whenever I am about to judge someone. We are all books with distinct personalities as our covers with a content/character that most often betrays the conspicuous. We judge and are judged. We give and take opinions about people. All of these combine to influence our relationships.
Whatever/whoever we spend time on/with, we tend to know more about it/them. At the work place, most employees only know themselves professionally and this most time defines how they relate. I have always known that the best way to know someone is to live with him. Because we don’t always get that opportunity we must seize it when it arises; and this I did when I hung out with some of my colleagues on their invite.
Before the rendezvous on 2019 new year’s eve, I knew peoples’ thoughts about John, not real name, but I never allowed that to influence how I interacted with him because I know better. They said he was inefficient, incompetent, and confused on the job. I was tempted to concur to that because whenever I worked on his files there were always issues that I hardly find in those of others. Even his disposition seem to give credence to the negative conversations. He looked timid and spoke with fear. Always apologising and asking for clemency.
On that night, I saw the real John. He changed to the complete opposite of the Office John. What happened?! He got confirmed. That was the magic. I was bewildered as I watched him with the disciplined focus of a scientist peering through a microscope. He beckoned to the waiter to take our order. He lit a cigarette, pulled in the nicotine saturated gas and puffed it out into the air. This time he was in charge. In expressing his gratitude for our role to see that he was not sacked that was when I knew the cause of his inability to meet his target when he should. He just buried his late father barely three months ago. Coming out from a long period of unemployment with piled up bills on the home front, it was a challenge to focus at work with an impending sack. He missed his Dad due to the bond they shared. ‘I still hear my Dad’s voice on the phone after work asking, “John where are you now.”‘ According to him.
The office was scheduled to close three hours before the usual time but we all stayed behind to attend to only and all of John’s clients. He said, “I came to work today believing it to be my last here. I prayed and told God that His will should be done. I have tried my best.” He was full of praises to God.
Now I can judge him. Those who judged and condemned him before knowing him would be shocked to see a new efficient, competent and composed John with zest. This is what a confirmation with good pay increase and other good benefits can do to a depressed employee. I felt so happy and proud to have played a role in saving someone’s job on the last day of the year. This would not only keep food on his table but increase the quantity and quality. We sent John and his family into year 2020 in celebration. No better way to end the year.
So, before you speak about someone in this new year, try to know why they act that way. In other words, if you don’t know me, don’t judge me.
Have a splendid new year!