I came across this anonymous quote — “Never judge a man’s actions until you know his motives.”

Of course, this can relate to many situations, but one fresh in my mind happened recently while I attended a fundraiser.

In between the speakers at the event there were breaks for scrumptious homemade foods. Due to the large amount of people who attended, the serving style was buffet, and there was plenty of it.

As people plated up what they wanted, I heard someone comment to another person, “Wow, look at their plate” — but it wasn’t a positive comment. It was more to imply something like, “I’m in shock and embarrassed for that person, and I can’t believe they took so much.”

Now mind you, this is just after we were all supporting a specific cause and everyone was in good spirits and, for lack of a better term, bonding with one another through caring about a common cause.

But, low and behold, we can’t get through one day without judging someone for what they are doing without knowing the reasons behind it.

Maybe that person hasn’t eaten in a few days and was finally getting a hot meal. Nowadays, with so many people demoted or out of work and barely making ends meet, going to a fundraiser can really put a damper on the bank account but at least they can feel justified by eating a hearty meal while supporting something they believe in. 

Or maybe that person was sitting at a table with elderly people who physically couldn’t wait in line, so he was bringing food for all of them. The reasons could go on and on, but the bottom line is “it’s none of your business.”

If someone wants to have a heaping plate of food, and there is enough for everyone, then why judge them? Why not focus on what you have and what you can control?

It amazes me how we are so quick to make judgment calls and jump to conclusions about any one or any topic without knowing all of the facts. So many stories are one-sided, and unfortunately we take from what we hear or see without ever going to the source or asking our own questions. It’s like we are content to know what we know and never dig to find out if it is at all truthful.

Granted, a comment like the one I heard isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it’s the point that we are so focused on what everyone else is doing that it really can hinder our own life’s path.

When you are so consumed about what other people are doing, you are taking away from your ability to help yourself, and focus on your own strengths and passions. It takes away from your ability to make sensible decisions when assessing a situation and other people. It takes away from your willingness to help someone or be a part of a greater cause. And most importantly, it takes away trust that others have placed in you.

Bottom line, try to focus on what you can control and try not to judge your neighbor. Especially when you don’t have all the facts and you don’t make an effort to understand the reasons as to where they are coming from.

* * *

On my radar this week is something that should be a lot of fun for all of the “fashion followers” in New Jersey. The second annual New Jersey Fashion Week will take place Oct. 9-13 at the W Hotel in Hoboken.

I know northern New Jersey is like another country, but at least New Jersey is participating in the festivities of Fashion Week, and much thanks goes to its founder, Donnella Tilery.

The goal of this fashion extravaganza is to provide exceptional emerging fashion talent an opportunity to present their seasonal collections on a global scale to the industry, media, retailers, press and consumers.

The event will be covered by many national media agencies and some of the hottest new designers will be featured.

Plus I was asked to walk the runway to help raise funds for their charity partner, the Susan G. Komen Foundation (which has a strong southern New Jersey presence), so I’m pretty psyched and excited to help a great cause.

And I’m also secretly hoping that in the years to come, we can have New Jersey Fashion Week in various locations across New Jersey, including our beautiful fashion-forward areas in Atlantic City — just a dream for now.

Read more of Whitney's Radar here.

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