With so many things happening in our lives right now, with friends, with celebrities and with the world at large, there sure are a LOT of people who feel they have been called to judge and jury.
Now, once again, I am not saying I am perfect. I am just as guilty as the person next to me, I'm sure. But being just as guilty doesn't actually make it alright. Doing what the person next to me is doing, and justifying my actions by believing that if the masses are doing it, it must be okay? How did we get here?
I have been a part of many conversations that made me feel like I was doing great in life, because at least I was/wasn't doing something that someone else was doing. But I'm called to be me. And to be a better me than I was yesterday. I wasn't called to be better at my life than Sally is at hers. I wasn't called to judge her and her abilities to be her. She was called to be Sally. I wasn't. And just a note, I don't actually know "Sally". That's why I chose that name.
With Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts galore, it is so easy to put our best selves forward. But those certainly our full stories. They don't always include our less than "pinterest perfect" moments. Those moments we loose our cool. Those moments we judge others as less than ourselves. Those moments where we fail our friends because we are more concerned about beating Sally. You know, those moments where we are merely human. Less than perfect, work in progress, human.
And so I am writing this as a call for us to lift others up. You know that marriage that you know is failing? The one where you "think" you know all the details, but you can't. That one with a lot of hurting people? What about lifting them up in prayer? What about offering to make a meal so that they can go to counselling? What about pointing out all of the things that they have going for them as a couple? What about reminding them of the good times that are so easily forgotten in the face of turmoil? What if we could be there to hold them when they cry without taking those details to others?
For that challenging kid you know, what about speaking truth into their life? What about taking a few minutes to show them you care? Or that you understand? What if you could share a part of your struggles with them that would make them feel less alone? Or what if you could just show them unconditional love?
That cashier/customer service person/other driver on the road? Maybe they've just gone through something unimaginable. Maybe they just need a kind word and a smile today. Maybe you could be the person that can do that for them. Or maybe the best you can do is just not be another nail in the coffin of their bad day and keep your mouth shut (a la Bambi's mom "if you can't say anything nice...").
Maybe some days seem like they are truly a gift from God. Maybe everything is going perfectly for you now. Maybe you forgot to count your blessings last night before you went to bed. Or maybe you didn't. The great days are part of what keeps us going on those not so great days. Cherish them.
We are all struggling in this world. Every single one of us. Not all on the same day. On that day you aren't struggling, you have a unique ability to not be staring at others through hurt. Do something with that. And if you are that hurt person, never forget that no matter how bad it may seem now, there is someone, somewhere who is struggling to take their last breath. Thinking about all of those could haves, should haves, and would haves that can no longer be changed.
So maybe, rather than worrying about Sally, maybe we should help her. Or Joe. Or Jane. Or someone whose name you don't even know yet. Maybe you'll be the one to change their entire world. And maybe you won't even know it.