Imagine sitting in a court room before a judge; the jury being family and friends, whether new or old. These can be friends that you still talk to and some that you haven’t spoken to in years. These can be people that you have worked with in the past or neighbours. It can include a sprinkling of strangers that you don’t know personally but have crossed paths with a few times.
You’re standing before a judge to be criticized and evaluated on who you are are as a social citizen. Who you are as a human being in general. Not JUST who you are as a mom. Or JUST who you are as a client, business partner or colleague. Nor JUST who you are as a philanthropist in your community.
You are being distinguished looking at all facets of your life and the verdict will rely heavily on one of the most important qualities in any individual – your character.
Sentencing? If found guilty, you will be placed in a social Alcatraz. Deemed a person not worthy of friendship, love, trust. You will live the rest of your days on this earth baring a permanent tattoo on your forehead with the word: VILLAIN. Wow, harsh.
So, what do you think will be your verdict?
Just before your verdict will be announced, the judge turns towards the jury and says something that causes complete astonishment from everyone in the courtroom.
“Before I read this verdict, if anyone in this jury has been guilty of any of these faults the accused is being tried for, please stand.”
Everyone gazes at one another in complete bewilderment, and then slowly, one by one, two by two, three by three, each person in the jury stands. Eventually, the entire jury is standing up.
The judge leers at the standing jury and then turns to face the rest of the people sitting in the courtroom.
“I ask the same for you all. Please stand if any of you here has been guilty, even just once, for what the accused is being tried for.”
And just like the jury, slowly each person sitting as observers in the courtroom stood up until the entire court room was on their feet, lawyers on both sides of the fence included. Then to everyones surprise, the judge stood up himself.
This is a perfect example of the lives that we live, day to day. We are so quick to judge others around us; scrutinizing them for their imperfections, placing affliction towards them or contributing to it, whether it’s physical or mental. We get caught up in a gang mentality of the people we supposedly love and/or respect that we keep in our circles and sometimes unknowingly band together to place our own factitious and manufactured viewpoints about others.
We don’t understand something, therefore we place judgement.
The funny thing though is, at the end of the day, we are all the same. Whether you would like to agree or agree to disagree, this is the truth. All the same mortals promenading around with different masks.
I am imperfect. I am a sinner. I have made mistakes. Many of them. I can admit this. But it doesn’t mean I or anyone else should have to pay for them for the rest of our lives, does it? I’m old enough now (and at least mature enough… I hope) to know when I was in the wrong or said something I probably shouldn’t have. I will own up to it. I will correct it if I can or at least move on and try to make things better. I will not be that person that sits in my own negative vomit allowing it to cast a stench on me and around me because I’m too prideful to admit my wrongs or because I’m too consumed with hate. Break that negative curse.
Trust me, these are minutes and hours and days in your life you will never get back.
I’d rather be building respect and admiration from my peers then stepping on them or pushing them aside to get to “the top”. The top is large enough for everyone. Whatever the top may be. And for the record, the top is different for everyone.
I prefer to be loved then hated; Respected then feared.
I’ve been a victim to naysayers, gossipers, fake friends, racism… and the same issues are at the root of them all: Misunderstanding, miscommunication, scepticism, and jealousy. What if: We just started really talking to one another? Like real talk.
Not “The weather is pretty chilly today, isn’t it?” kind of chatter but “I’d like to know who you really are and what makes your heart happy” kind of talk. You’ll see what will happen. Masks will start to come off.
These are the the reasons why I have no right to cast judgement on others. Because I’m flawed myself and I know that people make mistakes. I won’t mark them with the word villain on their foreheads in permanent marker for the rest of their lives, perhaps due to misunderstandings or one bad experience I may have had with them.
When someone leaves you with a bitter taste in your mouth, eat some candy (and maybe toss them a piece).
So, are you ready to be summoned to Character Court?