Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Judgmental Mariam in Me

When I first started posting in my blog, I decided to make it a weekly one where I post every Thursday. I usually write them before that, whenever I'm 'inspired'. Not this week. This week was cluttered with 'inspirations', which made it harder for me to pick one illustration and plot its details down. So here goes what my mind and heart chose to be voiced out. 

A week from now, I was wandering at one of the malls with my siblings, when people started looking at me, staring at me,eyeing me from head to toe...They tried to hide it but their eyes kept following me. I was confused. Was it that I was wearing minimal make up? I can't look this bad without make up! Is it the way I walk? But I Know I walk just fine, with the right body posture... I started pondering about every single detail in my physical appearance.  Thoughts started rushing in and out for a couple of minutes until it hit me, they can't see my arms! See, I was wearing a 'Bahraini Abaya' that day. For those who don't know, a 'Bahraini Abaya' is the traditional dress for women in the Gulf with a specific cut where you have to tuck your arms in to tie an inner belt. So for the 3-4 minuted I had my arms inside my Abaya, I faced the most confusing - troubling - puzzled faces I have ever seen in my entire life! I mean, I know we all can be judgmental every now and then, maybe more often than  we would like to admit, but this was the first time I felt judged for something, if true, had nothing to do with. 

I started thinking, do I stare like this every time someone who looks slightly different passes by? Do they notice the "I'm trying not to stare at you" looks? For these couple of minutes I loathed the judgmental Mariam in me. Although I always try not to judge or label others, I couldn't help but think of all the times I actually do. I couldn't deny all the times I glanced at someone for milliseconds just because they looked different. They see it. They feel it. All the "I'm trying not to stare at you" looks don't count anymore. 

It took me a while to sit and write down this experience because until this minute, I'm  still trying to get my head around it. Am I judgmental? Am I not the philanthropic person I think I am? No that's not true! Because when I try 'not to stare' at someone and I eventually do I don't do it because I want them to feel bad. I always do it with a smile. A supportive smile I hope.  

There's a lot to think and write about when it comes to our perceptions of other people, but for now I know that I should always, always, keep this 3 minute experience in my head before I step out for you never know what you might face one day.

I write and publish this note in hope that I'll one day get to the point where my actions truly mirror what goes around in my mind and heart...



  1. One of the more interesting articles Mariam and that is something as so far all your articles are quite insightful! Before reading your post I have never actually heard of the Bahraini abaya, wonder what it looks like...

    Being judgmental, i feel, is rooted in many people whether they realize it or not, but the good thing is you are analyzing yourself and a great thing about your judgmental look is that you at least spend milliseconds doing so - this way you are not being rude or odd in the slightest IMO, as the millisecond stare is very hard to avoid.

    Good points, especially towards the end - placing ourselves in other people's shoes before we judge them is always interesting. I think what is challenging though is remembering to do that, bs inshAllah the more we notice it in ourselves the more we can improve it.

    Last but certainly not least I think you end your article with a big bang - one of the most important feelings one can ever have in my opinion - reaching the point where our actions truly mirror what goes on in our minds and hearts. I think about this point myself from time to time and it makes me look at things differently in a good way. We have a lot of potential as human beings, trying to be good from the inside and let that mirror our actions is one of the coolest and most important things we can do.

    A lot of rambling from my end, bs I think I liked this article quite a lot. Keep it up Mariam :D

  2. marrriam anew post for anew observation iagree with u 100% no need for us to be judgmental,but in the end we are all humans sometimes we can't control our reactions in acertain way,but as u said if we only try to translate this judgmental feeling or looks with a smile it will leave a better impact on others..keep on posting we re waiting for more and more to come:))

  3. Fady thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate the transparency in your comments.

    U couldn't agree me, there is more to people that what they think and nshalla kelna nshoof the potentials within us <3

  4. Haya, more observations to come nshallla thanks to the support of people like you *hug*