I have always thought of myself as quite open-minded and non-judgemental but yesterday I had to call this into question. Basically, it was my view on CHAVs - I'm almost ashamed to say that I have the typical view of them: bad dressers; mouthy; rude; pain the arse teenagers. Yesterday I went to the park with some friends, we were sitting on the swings when a teenage girl came up to us and joined us on the final swing. She was wearing tracksuits tucked into her socks and when she opened her mouth her voice and choice of words screamed CHAV at me. What followed was a very interesting conversation between her and my friend John who is a 'alternative' - it was mainly about what he was wearing and what he believed. At no point did she judge him, though she disagreed with some of his beliefs, and yes, she did refer to him as a goth.
But then she said something that made me stop and think. To her friend, waiting on his bike, she said "At least they're polite, it's that whole you can't judge a book by a cover and all that, innit." I think that's more-or-less word for word accurate. And I realised that I had been judging her. As soon as she had come over I had gone on hyper alert, expecting her to become violent or just be unreasonably rude, and hadn't given her the benefit of the doubt. Realising this I thought back, and was ashamed at my attitude, as she had done nothing wrong, she had simply been interested in John's approach to life - trying to open her own mind. So I congratulate her: on her confidence and her openness and for not judging us. As she said "We are all who we are, no point being someone else, is there?"