A lot has changed in the last three months. Millions of people became afflicted with a deadly virus. Hundreds of thousands have died from it. The world shut down, sports stopped, and everything changed.
I started reading, my family started playing games with each other and going on walks, and we all started cleaning up as a group after dinner.
And I became stylish.
Apparently, there is a new style in which somewhat tight long black pants that are cut off at the ankles, with a double white stripe running down the pant legs has become cool.
And as someone who is exceedingly cool, it was obvious that I would need to start sporting these hip, groovy pants.
The best part of it is that these pants are as comfortable as they are cool, and they are quite frankly very enjoyable to wear. So I decided that inasmuch as no-one ever sees below my chest anyways anymore, I should just start wearing them, basically every single day.
And last Tuesday, when the Better Half and I were running our weekly Facebook Live Show, Live from the Bunker, this reality was no different. A very important lesson dawned on me after watching a clip of the show. I realized that to the thousands upon thousands upon thousands of viewers who watched the show, I looked exactly how one might expect a distinguished rabbinical figure such as myself to look–rocking a nice white shirt and stylish tie.
But little did those thousands upon thousands upon thousands of viewers realize that below the shirt and tie were cool-dude pants– not the formal suit pants one might have expected based on the appearance I was giving off.
And I realized that this indeed is a vital lesson that is incumbent upon all of us to take heart: Sometimes we think we know people. We think we know what is going on with them, their life circumstances, etc… But the reality is that very often, we only know what is going on on the tip of the iceberg– we only see the superficial surface, totally unaware and naive to the true reality that encompasses a person. We don’t know what they are going through in life, what they are feeling, and what really is driving them. We only see what they decide to show us, which quite often, is not that much.
There are several lessons I believe, but one of the most obvious ones is, as Pirkei Avos says, “Do not judge your fellow until you have been in his shoes.” As we aren’t ever in our fellow’s shoes, we cannot judge them. We don’t know what is going on underneath the surface. We don’t know what they are going through. So we better not judge them.
So next time you are inclined to pass judgment on another human being, just remember: For all you know, they are wearing gnarly Adidas pants behind the screen.