DAY 13: ‘Who are you to judge the life I live?’

Bob Marley. Judge not.

Video published on youtube on Feb 6, 2010 by: orikrol

It has taken me a long time but I worked on myself and that awful thing I used to do so often, that judging-people-before-you know-them thing. I disliked myself work it but i could never help it. I’d meet a person, look at the and while looking I’d determine the kind of person they are based on their appearance. Its pitiful but I did and and I suppose I still do it now, on occasion, with my conclusions kept nicely to myself.

Isn’t that what people do? Keep their judgments about people to themselves? If not for courtesy then at least for the sake of peace and respect, right? I guess not.

Today at Rasta House, where I was having a meeting with an interviewee, I was judged. I was judged because I like perfume, I like trousers, make-up and fake hair. I like the things that make me feel more beautiful that I already am. I like them because these things, as trivial as they may seem, they serve as that extra push we all need to go out ans be great everyday.

My interviewee told me that she hated that I wore pants, that I was killing birds with strands of my weave that happen to fall out, that I was a sell-out to all Africans for looking like a western girl. It was painful to have to sit there, maintain my smile and composure while she tore me apart for not sharing a world view that coincides with her own. She was brutal and she was relentless in her judgement of me and the life that I have chosen to live and as I have mentioned it was hard to keep up my professionalism and take in her blows.

I suppose in this in-depth journey and in my career as a journalist I will meet people like my interviewee. people who are arrogant, people who choose to ignore the principles and values of those that live outside of their lives and most importantly lack understanding of the fact that there exists a world full of diversity a multifaceted cultures, ways of life and religions.

I respect her and her shielding of the Rastafari way of life. My respect is diluted though, by her lack of appreciation of the world and the beauty it possesses outside of Rastafari.

It was difficult to sit tight and abstain from defending the life that I have chosen for myself. However, this final stretch in my journey to becoming a good journalist is teaching me to afford all voices the platform on which to express their views without constraint.

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