You Don’t Know My Story

Facebook is filled with nonsensical videos with ridiculous comments. During one of my many daily scroll sessions, I ran across this video of Dave Ramsey offering financial advice. I’m trying (I should be anyway) to save some cash, so I clicked on it for some potential financial wisdom. Unbeknownst to me, I stepped into what turned out to be an abyss of ridiculousness.

Long story short, a family spent $30,000 to adopt a cat for the purposes of a kidney transplant for their sick cat. Yup, you read that right. Don’t believe me? Take a look.

https://www.daveramsey.com/show/videos/ny-couple-spends-30000-to-save-cat

In true interwebz fashion, people blew a gasket because of Dave Ramsey’s “commentary.” I had to agree. $30K is a lot of money for a kidney. Of course, I had to read the comments (I really need to stop that), and one comment stuck out in particular.

“$30,000 for a cat, and we won’t even give a homeless man a quarter.”

Shots fired! Wow did that put people on edge! Pet lovers galore came out of the woodwork to defend the $30K decision. Let these folks tell it, all homeless people are drunks, drug addicts, and made their choices to hit rock bottom. I was amazed at the assumptions. These comments pretty much affirmed the original statement.

The one thing I took away from that conversation (lack thereof) is this: we are SO judgmental. You don’t know my story, and I don’t know yours. Yet, we make assumptions based on a particle of information. Every homeless person is not hooked on drugs and alcohol. Sometimes life deals them a bad hand. Some people have a hard time recovering. It could easily be one of us in the shoes of the homeless person.

Instead of judging, why can’t we help out? Would it kill you to buy a homeless person a meal? Donate clothes? Smile? Have we become that ruthless to think people can’t fall on hard times? Or, are we jaded because some people are users? Whatever the case, it doesn’t hurt us to love, even if they are a total stranger. An act of kindness may go a long way. More than you’ll ever know.

Everybody has a story; a set of unique experiences that shapes their view of life. What’s yours? Leave a comment and let me know about a time you’ve been judged incorrectly. I want to know about you.

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14 Comments Add yours

  1. Eddie Gilliam says:

    During my af career by in 1982 we was talking about not being judgmental, I assumed that all blacks loved watermelon especially if they lived in the south. Oh how wrong I was, one of the class mate didn’t like watermelon. I taken from the lesson not prejudice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. zacharylucy says:

    I am as close to this topic as I’ve ever been. In the past three years, my wife has worked in direct contact with the homeless population in Billings, Montana. Yes, there are individuals – surprisingly not the majority – who have put themselves on the streets due to their excessive drug and alcohol abuse. The leading cause in that area – Mental Illness. It’s extremely sad. Schizophrenia is one of the more common illnesses and when there is no one to care for a person who has a disease like that, there’s nowhere else to go but the streets. They may be in the care of a ward and released into an unknown part of the country where they don’t have family or friends; this happens frequently with prisons. They may be in the care of their families, but as they get older, family members pass away and they’re left with nothing, leading them to the streets.

    It’s difficult to constantly hear, “He’s homeless because of booze and drugs.” Even if the odds are in favor of your disgusting comment, your judgement and assumptions are ugly and make you look like an arrogant ass (pardon my barnyard-talk). Not only should people look for the positives in others and not be so quick to judge, but they should also present the positives in themselves.

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    1. Jarrod Brown says:

      It’s amazing how people can’t spot mental illness. It attributes to more than we think. Kudos to you and your wife! We need more compassionate people in this world.

      Like

  3. shielders anonymous says:

    Interesting write-up Jarrod! I have been misjudged many times in my life but the one incident that stands out happened while I was working as a cashier at a local supermarket chain. I had a customer who was very unhappy that she couldn’t get a discount on an item she wanted, so she became very irate and used several choice words in her rant about ‘customer service’ and ‘the customer is always right ‘. After realizing that her inappropriate behavior did not succeed in getting the discount, she said I was an uneducated (female dog) with a bunch of baby daddy drama and that is why I work at this local food store making minimum wage. I was really annoyed at her response not because it was true, but because she was looking down on every other cashier in that store assuming that everyone had the same story. In actuality I had just dropped out of college after only completing two years because my father, who was the only breadwinner in the home at that time, got really sick and had to have major surgery. No I did not have any kids so no baby daddy drama and I needed a job to keep the home afloat and support my last two siblings who were still in high school. The other cashiers I worked with were all young as well but no baby daddy drama and many of them were working to pay for college and other personal expenses. This story reminds me of how ignorant and high-minded some people can be and it’s really sad that people resort to using negative stereotypes most of which have no truth to it. Not every person in a valley did something wrong to get there, but every person on a mountaintop had to pass through a valley to get where they are. Let’s destroy the preconceived notions we have and learn to pull people up instead of tearing each other down.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jarrod Brown says:

      Love your comment! For whatever the reason some people look down on customer service associates. I saw it personally in previous jobs. They never stop to think that person has feelings and a reason why they are working at the Wal-Marts of the world. Great insight!

      Like

  4. Nicole McGraw says:

    I agree. Focus should be put forth toward ones own life’s decisions and what they can learn from their bad choices. I’ve been there a ton, haven’t always made the best ones. But also, I try to focus on being a better person and spread the love. Smile. You never know what someone else is going through.

    Keep up the blog Jarrod!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. James says:

    Jarrod, you are my favorite oldest grandson in ND. This speaks volumes on how you were taught from child hood to make your own decisions, and if you make a mistake make it in favor of God. Then you will stand for what is right, even when others disagree. I love you for it! Your grand dad, in Minot, ND

    Liked by 1 person

  6. K. T. says:

    “Everybody has a story; a set of unique experiences that shapes their view of life.” That’s something Richard Castle would say, haha. But I completely agree. In fact, I was thinking about this issue just yesterday. There are so many people who are homeless not because they took some wrong decisions in life, but because luck was not on their side, or perhaps they were born into the wrong families and could not get out – maybe didn’t have the means to do so. We shouldn’t be judgmental.
    Also, I especially hate when somebody talks with the homeless/poor in a condescending tone – just because you have more money doesn’t mean you are superior to somebody, right!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jarrod,
    Your words expressed clear and accurate views of what is going on. I pray that this article will help shine a light on the matter (not just the homeless) of not showing Gods love. We dont know everyones story but when our paths cross we become part of each others story. Our interaction writes that portion of the story and prayerfully for the better. As I read the article I looked back on the times I have assisted the homeless. I do not know if what I did caused much change in their situation but I hope I was able to show the love of God. This was a great piece and continue writing insightful articles.
    – Bro. Harrison

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The comment was for the article “You Don’t Know My Story”

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    2. Jarrod Brown says:

      Hey Bro Harrison! It’s good to hear from you! Thank you for your support. I agree that we need to show God’s love. That’s what we all need. I like the description of being in a portion of someone else’s story. We should all remember that.

      Like

  8. Melody says:

    Jarrod, as your Mother; I know your story! One that is being written by the author and finisher of our faith; Jesus Christ! As a child you were misunderstood, rejected, and endured others mockery. I remember when you were in high school your dream of being in NBA was shattered due to an knee injury. You had a Dr’s appointment and you took your sneakers (Jordans) with you to the appointment. You said, “I prayed. I’m going to play ball again!” It was that moment, I knew you would be a man of great faith! Continue to write and be the voice of the unheard, keep the faith and always trust God! I love you forever! Your Friend and Mother

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Andre B. says:

    Jarrod, excellent insight my brother! You highlight a very critical issue that’s going on pretty much everywhere in the nation. People have become so detached from reality, failing to realize that they too are only a significant event away from being in the same situation as those that they look down upon. This is a great blog topic you have going…keep it up my brother! Also just wanted to say thank you for helping to mold my young teens and open their understanding to what God will do in their lives. Love you!!! God bless!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jarrod Brown says:

      Hey!! I appreciate it! Thank God He blessed me with the words to write.

      Like

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