The other day on Facebook I saw a quote that was getting a big response from readers:

“Do Not Judge My Story By The Chapter You Walked In On”

Something about that message just didn’t resonate with me.  So I took some time to think about why and realized that I felt it was a somewhat aggressive message.  Truly why would someone be sharing a chapter in your life and making judgements?  Why would you invite someone to share a chapter of your life and then feel as though you have to warn them about judgement?

I thought that perhaps the message should be more like this:

Because, even though many chapters of my life have had some extremely difficult passages, the people I invited to help write those chapters have always made them more interesting.

What do you think?

About Bernadette

I live in the small town of Haddonfield, NJ. I am at an age in my life when I seem to spend time thinking and musing about life. These musings are usually stimulated by my walks through Haddonfield, my reading of books and fellow bloggers, and my interaction with my group of fabulous family and friends.

34 Responses

  1. The first words are so negative and got to me before I even read on…yours are inviting and welcoming – and beautifully designed above the leaves of the books surrounded by mysterious floating letters in glorious light. Words matter SO much. Always!!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Yes, when I first read it I felt it was defensive somehow… I like your word aggressive. It’s somewhat like, ‘I don’t need you, if you’re going to be critical or ‘judge’ me, and that’s really not a welcoming outlook to have for a friendship… Diane

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes thanks we’re settling in… getting used to an apartment. As far as the other; it has just seemed to go on so long. Some issues they can’t do anything about… I’ll just have to live with. Others are not clarified fully although I do have to have back surgery… But having said that… so many are much worse off than I am..
        Thinking of you too. I know it still must be difficult … take care Diane


  3. I love your version much better. I think the original version may have been written by someone who has been badly hurt by people around him/her and uses ‘aggressive’ (I like that word) behavior to keep people away out of fear of being hurt again (even though they crave love and acceptance). But, of course, I don’t want to judge his/her chapter off hand. I think sometimes people have chapters that are very ugly–maybe something done to them or things they’ve done and are ashamed, which makes it hard to invite people in to explore the book and understand the chapter. Thought-provoking post, and I love your take on it much, much better. Dawn

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Fortunately I had not seen the first quote in Facebook. Like you, I would have been turned off. The way you did it is lovely and inviting and an acknowledgment that each chapter in our life ‘counts’ and is worthy of gratefulness. 💚

    Liked by 2 people

  5. There’s a lot of personal stuff nowadays on social media. People seem to put their life out there, good or bad, for the public to comment on. In response, some people make rude and judgmental comments. I can see this being used in that type of situation. Thank goodness your site is positive and your followers comment kindly.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I like your re-interpretation, but I too felt sad for the person who wrote the original. I felt they had probably been judged by someone or some people at a time when they were vulnerable, struggling, or perhaps feeling like they didn’t live up to a particular standard, like they had failed or made a wrong choice by societal standards, or perhaps through no fault of their own – or due to the actions of someone else – they find themselves in circumstances beyond their control and view themselves through the eyes of others but in fact are judging themselves?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Bernadette, I too loved the warm inviting reframe of your reinterpretation. I agree that the original was intended to be off-putting, and with those saying the author of that version was aggressively pushing others away, probably out of hurt. Yet, you and I have all been hurt. I love what Hemingway says “The world breaks all of us u, but some become strong at the broken places.” We remain open to the world by turning our hurts into empathy, caring, compassion, and try to understand rather than judge. That is who you are Bernadette and why so many of us care about you. Love, Jo

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bernadette, love the pic(!!!) & your pondering about this. Some friends not only made difficult chapters more interesting, they helped me survive to the next chapter (not a done deal.) I do get the judgement thing (unfortunately.) When I gave up my job for a full-time parental caregiving gig not everyone understood. Surprisingly, not the folks I thought. When a friend dragged me to an MBA class reunion, some of my most successful classmates totally got it & encouraged my heart & soul for years with their words like ‘noble,’ love, admire you for doing it…and more. Thank you for this! Virginia 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. […] p.s. Scribbling notes a few days ago about the pages of my life, this post crystallized after Bernadette over @ Haddon Musings posted an inspiring blog (& amazing photo) about writing the chapters of our lives. Together – with friends. You can access it by clicking here: Do Not Judge My Story By the Chapter You Walked in On […]


  10. I get the original post. I’ve met people and have had people introduced to me at some horrible times in life and I was judged for where my feet were on the path at that moment. People don’t always see the whole journey or even care what it took for you to get where you are. That being said. I do like your positive vibe much better as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Excellent post, Bernadette. We all have many chapters in life. They can’t all be exciting or wonderful. We take the good with the bad and make the best of it all. We all follow different paths, but in the end, we all wind up in the same place so don’t be so quick to judge someone by just one chapter. Great advice.

    Liked by 1 person


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