I saw this sign when I was out running errands:
My heart got a little squishy. I have zero interest in joining a gym, but I reached out toward that advertisement with longing: I want to go to a judgment-free zone.
It reminded me of that time when as a children’s librarian I was reading Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are to a preschool group. Usually I pre-read the books in advance, but this was a classic, and I figured I knew it well. I turned the page and got to the line, “And Max, the king of all wild things, was lonely and wanted to be where someone loved him best of all.” And my heart scrunched and my eyes watered up in front of all those three and four year olds. Me too, I’d thought.
Despite my disinterest in joining a gym—[I’m overweight; I probably should, but that’s a topic for another day]—I give props to that advertisement campaign. Brilliant. Isn’t that what we all want? Acceptance. In particular, my own childhood was excessively strict and punitive. Nearly everything I did was wrong. To this day I have a hard time trusting—even my friends. I’ve been looking thirty years for a judgment-free zone.
It got me thinking about the places and spaces in my life.
I’m fortunate that my church is a judgment-free zone. It’s one of the few judgment-free zones in my life. That and my therapist’s office. Too many people find only judgment in church.
My relationships? Well, perhaps some of the perceived judgment is my own worries and not reality.
Still, that one gym advertisement prompted me to consider:
Am I making my home a judgment-free zone?
How do I make my workplace judgment-free?
As a supervisor, I need to require proper employee behavior, but do I encourage or discourage?
How would the world look if every place was a judgment free zone?
Join with me and commit to making your world a judgment-free zone today.
Despite the advertising poster, “judgment” in the preferred American spelling. Judgement (with an e) is sometimes considered acceptable in British English.