I don't know what this quote by George Bernard Shaw means to you, but it speaks volumes to me.
Since I've bypassed that magical age of 40, I seem to have a much better understanding of judgment. I'm not talking the Day of Atonement or anything... though sometimes I think some people struggle with that day more than once in their lives.
I'm talking about judging others.
It's easy to do. I've done it many times. Did you hear about so-and-so? What was she thinking? How could he do that? I can't believe it! We almost relish pointing out the wrongs of others because I think it makes us feel less conscious about our own foibles. I'm totally guilty.
Do people screw up? Yeah, every damn day. Some are little bungles, some are life-changing messes. And if we're on the viewing end, we watch and offer commentary like it's a one-armed boxing match.
I suppose it's to be expected. Over my lifetime, I've heard stories about people who have done this-and-such, and I've been quick to judge. It wasn't until I found myself in similar situations that I could empathize for all of those who had once been in my shoes. Enlightening, to say the least.
I know this is going to be a very unpopular example, but take Tiger Woods. Now, I certainly don't condone what it is alleged that he did, in any way, shape or form. But it occurs to me that given the reaction of the public to this "god" that perhaps we set him a little too high on that pedestal, then judged him mercilessly when he fell. Again, what he did was wrong, but WOW, the public sure let him know it, didn't they?
"Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone."
Thank God for family, right? They are the ones that are supposed to be at your side with no question. Unconditionally. Unfortunately, that doesn't always happen. Family members judge each other sometimes more harshly than friends or colleagues. Know what I think? I think family loyalty should be mandatory. A no-brainer. A given. A package deal.
If you do something wrong, if you screw up, if you make a bad decision, you're going to pay... somehow. And you probably feel like crap about it. And people around you that you thought cared about you may all of a sudden just disappear. But when all is said and done, and all those people have been filtered out, you should be able to count on your family. Sometimes for advice. Sometimes just to talk to. And sometimes just to know that they are there with unconditional love.
We're all human. We all make mistakes. We all pay in one way or another. So maybe it's time to chill on the judgment calls, and just try to be there a little more for each other. Remember, we're all in this together.