Most of us, if we live long enough, learn the truth in the saying, "Don't judge someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes."

A Reddit user asked, "What was a decision or choice you judged/didn’t understand until you went through it yourself?" and people had a heyday responding. From getting divorced, to being homeless, to staying in abusive relationships, the answers can teach us a lot about seeing other with a non-judgmental eye.

Here are a few of the karma lessons users shared:


Many people said they now understand why their parents always seemed boring, tired, or cranky.

Mousetronaut35813 wrote, "As a kid I never understood why adults complained about being too tired to do stuff, or wanting to do seemingly boring shit like watch the news and read newspapers, or just not wanting to do anything. Why not come play with us kids? I don't even have my own kids yet and I'm already doing the same stuff lol. I'm sorry I ever got upset at adults being 'too tired to play.'"

Another user, meckyborris, said they now understand why their parents always seemed so cranky. "I never understood why my parents were mostly always so irritable. But now, being on the other side, I know that bills, unexpected expenses racking up the credit card, cooking a meal that barely gets touched, repeating yourself 1,000 times, and basically everything else that has to do with being a parent and adult can really piss a person off lol."

[rebelmouse-image 19397911 dam="1" original_size="960x960" caption="Image via Julie Maida." expand=1]Image via Julie Maida.

A number of people said that they understand why people let go of their ambitions and embrace mediocrity.

A comment by homeschoolpromqueen summed up what many others said about how they used to judge people who weren't striving for more than an average life, but now see that mediocrity has certain merits:

"As a teenager, I was very judgmental of the adults who were just kind of 'meh'—as in, they were basically normal, middle class, bill-paying adults, but they didn't really have much spark or ambition to them. They just went to their boring jobs, phoned it in for another day, got back in their Camry, and drove home to their crappy tract houses to watch mindless TV until bedtime.

As an adult, I get it.

At some point, we all realize that we aren't going to be astronauts, and that we've already climbed the corporate ladder as high as it's going to take us. Sure, we could uproot our entire lives and risk everything we've spent the last decade-plus working towards, but why? So we can buy a marginally nicer Camry and tract house?

There's a lot to be said for a relatively easy, comfortable life."

[rebelmouse-image 19397912 dam="1" original_size="659x288" caption="Screenshot via Reddit. " expand=1]Screenshot via Reddit.

Another user, keakealani chimed in with the reality of what "following your passion" can look like:

"As someone who 'followed my passion' (classical singer), I get it too. I love what I do and really value the privilege of getting paid for what a lot of people see as pointless art, but every so often I fantasize about going back to school and going into a more 'practical, boring' career with stability and benefits.

It's a very tough balance. I don't think I would actually go through with it, but I totally understand why people do, and I work with many many people who sing as a hobby with a 'real job' to pay the bills, which is absolutely a valid option."

Sadly but not surprisingly, many people expressed an understanding of why people don't come forward after an assault.

The repetitive question of "Why didn't they come forward sooner?" after someone speaks out about a past assault has been answered a million times, but many who haven't experienced it still don't get it.

Reddit user CSQUITO wrote: "Not talking about harassment and sexual assault or not reporting it until it was too late... now I’m in that position. I used to never understand why people didn’t report straight away and I thought it was stupid."

Another user, rev9of8, said, "I'm male but I was physically assaulted by a manager (unprovoked, without warning and whilst I was defenceless) at work - an assault for which there was multiple witnesses.

The company not only let him get away with it, they then proceeded to engage in a campaign of bullying, threats, harassment, intimidation and smears intended to silence me and to cover-up what happened. They had me blacklisted and managed to turn everyone I knew against me.

Everything that was done to me ended up utterly destroying my mental health and left me profoundly traumatised. I fully understand why people choose not to come forward."

Others chimed in with their own stories of assault reports being ignored,—or worse. For example, systolicfire shared: "I was 17 and was sexually assaulted at work by a coworker who was 23. I was too scared about my parents finding out so I didn’t pursue anything legally but I hoped he’d at least get fired or something after I reported it. Nope, my workplace didn’t even GIVE HIM A WRITE UP. He was still allowed to work with me. Only one of the managers kept him from me, and that manager was the one I initially reported it to within minutes of it happening. Then when I warned my other female coworkers, I was told by a manager that that would make me look bad. I definitely understood why things go unreported so often."

Sharing these kinds of questions and answers can help us be less judgmental, but also help others know they're not alone.

The whole post on Reddit is worth a read, not only to open our eyes to how many ways we might be judging unfairly, but also to show us that so many others may be going through the same thing we are. Understanding is one of the greatest gifts we can give our fellow humans. When people share stories and experiences openly, it broadens our understanding of one another and helps us all feel less alone in our struggles.  

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

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