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Judgmental reasoning is an automatic setting in one’s mind. People do not like to be judged for any reason, saying it’s not okay, yet they do it unconsciously all of the time. To Kill a Mockingbird, written by Harper Lee, and Remember the Titans, scripted by Gregory Allen Howard, both teach this important lesson throughout their stories. “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” (30)
Judging is another word for assuming. When a person is judging another, they are simply making assumptions that are not true. It’s not always about appearances, either, for example, Arthur “Boo” Radley was in his home with no one to see him and because of that, he was blamed for “a series of nocturnal events,” (9) such as mutilated chickens and household pets, although the real culprit was found out later on. In the beginning of Remember the Titans, Yoast, Alan, Gerry, Ray, and others were entering Coach Yoast’s office when they saw Boone standing in the office and Coach Tyrell asks, “Why ain’t you outside there with all your little friends, hollerin’?” Quickly, by seeing Boone’s skin color, Tyrell is already making the assumption that Boone is going to be up to no good. These assumptions, or judging, keep people from getting to know a person who could become a good friend because they are different.
When breaking past the barriers created by judging, there’s a person just like everyone else in the world. To one person, they are weird and strange, yet it’s also the reciprocal for the person being judged. No one is raised the same way, which helps people to become their own unique self. Children with siblings are a great example. The first child is like a trial run for the parents and then as more kids come along, the parents get more into the hang of raising the children. Although Atticus is a great father, he became that way with his own experiences, which he tries to teach to Jem and Scout. Jem was his trial run, and with Jem being his practice, Jem and Scout are different in certain manners besides ages and genders. At school, Jem did not want Scout to be hanging out with him because it would be un-cool and “embarrassing,” (16) making Jem’s friends thinking he was strange and such. Dill happened to be a great influence on how Jem and Scout shaped as people, such as becoming intrigued with Boo. Dill had a strong fascination, leading to want to know more, courage games, giving notes to Boo, and “putting his life’s history on display for the edification of the neighborhood” (49) according to Atticus. With the Titans, many friendships were formed of people who saw life differently. Sheryl and Nicky were two completely different girls, Sheryl being the tomboy and Nicky being the girly girl. They each thought the other was weird, such as the clothes they wore, or “accessorizing dolls,” or being crazy for liking a sport too much or caring about one’s nails. A friendship wasn’t completely formed, but they tried just a little for their fathers. At the boot camp for the Titan players, the team was away from a world that full of racial tension. The first attempts at colored friendships were with Lastik, a boy who grew up with friends of black and white, becoming a “light-skinned brother.” Other white players saw it as betrayal when he sat with the blacks. Boone called Lastik up in front of the team during lunch and he was then questioned in front of his teammates about another teammate of a different race. With Boone making sure that color didn’t matter, he helped true friendships form like Gerry and Julius’ shown with a heartfelt conversation after Gerry was in the hospital. “I was afraid of you, Julius. I only saw what I was afraid of. And now I know I was only hating my brother.” Gerry tells Julius. Julius responds with, “I’ll tell you what, though. Um, when this is all over… me and you are gonna move out to the same neighborhood together. Okay? And um… and we’ll get old, and we’ll get fat. And there ain’t be all this black-white between us.”
If people weren’t so prone to judging, the world would be a more honest and happy place. No more assumptions and lies made by those assumptions, or gossiping. People would become friends easier, only seeing others for who they are truly, not needing to worry about anything else. Even then, actions shouldn’t always be judged because every action has it’s reason, and the reasons should be understood in depth to finally understand what a person is honestly like. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, a Nobel Peace Prize winner of 1979, once said, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
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