Judge of Character

When I was in high school, my mom routinely told me I was not a good judge of character. Why, I'm not sure. One friend of mine had a tattoo. I tended to get along with older kids, too, which made the mom nervous. My mom didn't care for the then-alternative and sometimes gothic or punk dress worn by several of my acquaintances at the time. High school is a time for experimenting with clothes and haircuts, which makes them terrible indications of character. Their haircuts weren't what made them friends.

But as for their character, this is what made them friends. My mom knew virtually none of them personally, and only assumed what their respective characters were. Her insistance that she could judge these people by their clothes or haircuts signaled to me that maybe she wasn't such a good judge of character herself. And maybe she was afraid that I'd inherit that lack of judgment from her.

In the long-run, she (perhaps inadvertently) instilled in me the challenge to be a good judge of character, if only (at first) to prove her wrong.

I thought about the days when the mom would scold me about being a good judge of character today, when I read GearBits' "Is President Bush A Good Judge Of Character?" Read it. You already know the answer, but it's validating to have all the evidence in front of you. And I'd like to point out that, if there's a bigger conclusion to reach, it's that America is a terrible judge of character for electing this imbecile into office.

If only Mom had seen that the act of questioning the majority's herd mentality was an indication that I was a better judge of character than I got credit for, it might not have been such a big deal to have goth, punk, skater and stoner friends in high school.

Remember to get your mom something for Mother's Day.


bigsoda said...

This reader would like to remind the author that he lived with the reader for a number of years, effectively proving his mother right.

pylbug said...

I thought we weren't going to talk about that. Dang!