Thursday, February 23, 2012

Here's the thing...

As humans, we live mostly in a world of hypotheticals.

We reason a guess as to what we might do if we ever found ourselves in a certain situation.

Some people even go so far as to tease out each issue and analyze the moral, ethical, spiritual, financial, whatever ramifications of any hypothetical situations.

As someone who minored in a division of ethics, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what the best course of action might be in given situations based on the morality of the options.

People do it all the time, though probably not in such a deeply analytical way.

You probably have done it a million times in your head.  We all have.

What would you do if....

...you caught someone stealing?
...you caught your child stealing?
...you witnessed a violent crime?
...you found yourself unintentionally pregnant?
...you found your 14 year old daughter in the same situation?
...you had to choose whether to call 911?
...you had to honor the wishes of a dying person?
...you had information that could destroy someone, but knew you had to tell them?
...you were cheated on by your spouse?
...you were watching someone you love ruin their life?
...you knew you were addicted to something but couldn't stop?

Unless you've been in those situations, you really and truly have no idea what you would do.  You may hypothesize what might happen, but you really have no idea.

And you have no right to judge those who've been there.  You don't know that place they are in.  You don't know how hard it really is to be faced with the choices they are faced with.  You don't know.

Be gentle to people.

Stop judging.

1 comment:

  1. The human mind makes judgements on things and situations all the time. It is usually in a split second. The key is what to do with those judgements. I am in a group (secular) right now where we are doing just that, among other things. I have found when I make a judgement on more than, how pretty a flower is or whether I like tonight's dinner, I attempt to think that judgement over, rather than acting on it right away. Say, I find my dad's paperwork for his colonoscopy in his glove compartment. He hasn't followed through. I know why. He doesn't want to go through the procedure. Already I have made a judgement. My dad is hiding this. Instead of going to him and embarrassing him about it, I should wait and think it over. When the time is right, I can bring it up, gently and respectfully. It is a matter of his health.

    Then there is my sister, who wants to be romantically involved with a married man. I should definitely wait. The emotions are raw. I can't help judge this. It is normal human behavior. When I approach her, it is best I tell her that she is the one who needs to make a decision but because I respect her and love her, I ask if she would allow me to talk with her.

    One of my all-time favorite books is, "To Kill A Mockingbird". Atticus says it is not until we walk in someone else's shoes that we can understand them. Sure, we may not have experienced their experience. Still, that does not mean we do not have wisdom and insight worth sharing.

    I am judged a lot for being who I am. I am Catholic. I am happy and at peace being Catholic. I know my choice to be Catholic does not make my life easy. There is much sacrifice involved. Yet, because I am at peace with who I am, I experience joy and contentment, even amidst sacrifice. Still, I struggle and make many mistakes on a daily basis. I can't fathom any life lived is easy. If someone is living a life without any problems, difficulties or struggles, I would like to know what utopia there are in.

    When a defenseless life is involved, no matter what age, it behooves me to do what I can to protect that life. There are so many ways and choices in life. We can go along with everyone else or take the road less traveled. It seems these days much is either or. Either I go to college and have a chance to get a higher paying wage or settle for working at whatever is available. And, so much has already been decided for us. That's ridiculous. I don't have to drive a car because that's what is done. I don't have to wear a bra because that's what a girl wears. I don't have to...unless it causes bodily or mental harm to myself or another. God gave me a mind and legs. I can get to where I need to without a car. Sure, it may take longer or I won't go at all. That's my choice. There's no harm in that. A bra? Who says it is necessary? There is no medical reason for me to wear one, unless I have back trouble. Will it harm anyone? No. People would likely make judgements about me not wearing a bra. That doesn't make it wrong. For many cultures and thousands of years, bras have no place. Funny what we consider is okay or not to judge.

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