Don't Judge Too Quickly!

December 14, 2009
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“Don’t be so quick to judge!” my mother always says. Every time we‘re served by a cranky waiter, elbowed unapologetically on the street, or rudely interrupted during a conversation, we immediately assume that these people who have spoiled our day with such acts of cruelty have a callous personality. But growing up, I was constantly reminded never to judge anyone based on behavior unless I am fully aware of the circumstances.

I believe that the most judged person in the United States is its own President. Every speech and plan he formulates are dissected thoroughly by the public. Most troubling to me is that many Americans seem to evaluate the President too quickly. Once he makes an unfavorable decision, the public presumes that he is unfit for his position - without considering the circumstances leading to the outcome.

In the beginning of my third year in high school, I founded the American Red Cross Club. Automatically, I became its president to utilize my vision of strengthening the community. With years of volunteer experience, I wanted my classmates to feel the intimacy between themselves and the cause - to be acquainted with New York City with a more compassionate approach. My mission for this club was to instill in them a sense of altruism so they continue volunteering after graduation.

As one of many service clubs in Cardozo High School, I was accused by other clubs of “copying” them, so to speak. What they failed to realize was my previous participation in their clubs and events; but I envisioned a group more personally involved with the community. Yes, there were events like the AIDS Walk, March of Dimes, and Asthma Walk in which our clubs collided; however, my club organized clothing for Housing Works, hosted coat and book drives, planted trees in Idlewild Park for MillionTreesNYC, responded to letters for Operation Santa, and more - plenty of which other organizations haven’t done. Instead of becoming acquainted with my club, they undermined my leadership potential, preferring to expose faults rather than achievements.

Considering my club started during my junior year, I was often preoccupied with presidential errands amongst heavy schoolwork and exams. Thus, I allocated important duties with the board. Nevertheless, when something failed - as in, having shortage of nurses throughout the Red Cross Club Blood Drive - I was blamed. Little did my critics know that neither the school nor the Blood Center expected the drive to have much impact on the students. Even when the shortage was beyond my control, I was still under criticism by those who didn’t understand the situation.

I organized this club to share my passion for volunteerism with classmates, not gain popularity as others suggested. I believe the President does everything possible to serve the needs of his country as I am to my community. When he defends a widely unpopular solution, I refuse to prejudge.
I forgive the stranger who shoved me shamelessly on the bus, for I do not know of the circumstances.

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