One Never Knows

You never can tell exactly what’s going on, can you?

A blogger at our local newspaper, Kristi Gustafson Barlette, recently wrote about an odd encounter she had with a woman at a local ice cream joint. The woman engaged her in conversation that grew progressively strange, culminating with the lady offering up a taste of her ice cream.

Several commenters pointed out that there may have been more to this incident than just the rambling of an intrusive old woman — that there may have been something causing her to act that way. Naturally, most other commenters were much less forgiving.

In my EMT class, we learned how medical conditions and physical or developmental disabilities may influence behavior. Drugs – prescription or otherwise – and alcohol are also common culprits.

This understanding doesn’t make the person less annoying, but it may instruct us on how we react.

The older I get, the more willing I am to consider that someone’s actions and behavior may be the result of something I know nothing about. A million things cause people to be the way they are, and often it’s simply the sum of their life experience. Hell, sometimes it’s just because they slept poorly.   Take a moment before you judge. It’s not easy, but you’ll be a better person for it.

7 thoughts on “One Never Knows

  1. You mean there could be a REASON why I act this way?

    My mother always told me that I was just “different”

  2. God forbid someone invade the space of the Capital Region’s blog queen. “Servants! Remove that mad woman from my sight!”

  3. Absolutely wonderful post. If more people just took a sec to step back before making rash decisions or flip judgements, we’d all be better for it.

    We’d all be well served to remember that, “There but for the grace of G-d go I…….”

  4. Kristi’s made a lot of hay with her schtick, as this holier than thou arbiter of right and wrong. I’ve noticed that more and more people are challenging her on her bullshit lately, which is refreshing.

    Her lack of tolerance and understanding for other people is a sad, sad thing.

  5. I rarely see her posts, but somehow I did run across that one, and had the same reaction you did. Mild crazies and people who operate a little outside the social norms are just a part of living in the urban world. In general, I have gotten the sense that KGB is really just not a nice person, which is one reason I rarely read her column.

    1. Well, she’s turned it into a living. Maybe that says just as much about the people who read it as it does her.

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