I had no idea what to call this, so I decided on the name my family jokingly uses when we feel someone is judging other people’s choices. I decided today to take a little break from social media. It all started from a comment about convicted felons being allowed to vote, and how only law-abiding citizens should have the privilege, I think it should be decided on a case by case basis, I believe there are many people who made mistakes and have been placed in bad situations, who are now good upstanding citizens and should be able to vote. Not many of us would hold up well to strenuous judgment of our younger selves.
I think if we allow ourselves to make sweeping judgments we will label people without even knowing. If I see something about people taking advantage of the system having to take drug tests and ask how they know who is taking advantage I am often met with, “Oh I didn’t mean you. I mean the other people who are disabled.” What? Really? What other people? Why do you get to choose? I saw something today about criminals living on the taxpayer’s dime… if I can’t shut up I try to use humor to diffuse a situation, so I said, “You mean like Congress?” That did not go over well. At all. It ended with me being overly defensive of my opinion so I left the conversation and am avoiding people for a few days. If I cannot react from a place of love I am not going to like myself, and that is necessary to me.
It is a mystery to me how people who worship the same God and read the same Bible and can see one subject in totally opposite opinions, I think to help the poor is a good thing, to give them food and shelter and basic healthcare is what Jesus intended. I also think loving people without judgment is a big tenet of many faiths, its hard, sometimes, to not judge others, we do it in small ways every day. Think about the last time you saw a screaming child running around a store with their parents nonchalantly shopping, did you think they were bad parents? I know I have wanted to grab people and say Watch your kids! Ever see a pretty girl with heavy make-up and a revealing dress and think she was looking to get lucky? Maybe she’s a model, looks different then, doesn’t it?
It also amuses me how often people think I am an optimist, I’m not really, I’m a pessimist with strong faith. I work at it. One nurse I used to work with once told me, “I should have known you’re a Christian, you’re always so damn perky!” That made me laugh a lot, then I had to tell him my work secret, I said, “Tim I am getting paid a very fair wage to make people’s life better for 8 hours a day, the least I can do is smile and be kind while I do it.” It really is the least, the minimum, my job at the time was at a VA hospital, it is an honor to care for men and women who sacrificed everything for our country, and should be treated as such. It is an honor to care for people’s parents and grandparents, favorite aunt or uncle, schoolteachers, mechanics, and everyone who needs it.
I don’t like that we live in a world that denies food, shelter, and healthcare to children, the elderly, and disabled people as part of a political statement, that is not a judgment, that is a fact, but I feel that people who do not always have a choice in the matter are being denied basic needs, and that is a judgment, you have not walked in their shoes, you don’t know why they can’t afford these things, denying them turns them into sub-standard citizens and opens doors to more judgment, these things have no place in a country that is supposed to be an economic and social leader. Denying food to those who need it in favor of those who hoard damages the economy, just as denying people a living wage is bad for the economy, when people make money they spend it on food, shelter, healthcare, clothing, and entertainment, all of which is good for the economy.
Maybe we could all stop pointing fingers at who does, and does not, deserve basic human needs, because we all need them, and start pulling planks out our own eyes first. I’ll stay over here quietly until I can look at everyone from a place of love again. Love peace and hugs…