a bit more on judging less
Our impressions of friends and loved ones, especially those impressions made early in a relationship, are based on a variety of interactions with each other: verbal conversations, written correspondence, body language, and shared space, among other things. We subconsciously use all of these interactions to form our early opinions of the people in our lives, and to help others form their opinions of us.
That inevitable set of early impressions can be changed dramatically if one or more of those interfaces is missing. Take, for example, a relationship based in letters. Whether or not the two writers have ever met, the relationship is formed in large part by what information each chooses to share. Whereas a typical relationship allows us to make our own judgments about a person, a relationship based in writing requires the utmost trust in the person with whom you correspond: we may not all be writers, but we all have the innate ability, I think, to create – and thus, to fabricate – pieces of ourselves. In person, we can more easily wade through our sensory perceptions of an individual that, in writing, are lost.
This is not necessarily a bad thing.
As children, we are are encouraged to have faith in things we cannot prove, like the seasonal cast of characters that are supposed to instill wonder, faith, and an understanding of delayed gratification in children. Yet, as we become adults, it is easy to wander away from faith and fairy tales into skepticism and doubt. In forcing ourselves to trust a person too distant to judge, but near enough to instill that same wonder, is it possible to regain some of the lost faith of our childhood?