“Who are you to judge the life I live?
I know I'm not perfect
-and I don't live to be-
but before you start pointing fingers...
make sure you hands are clean!”
~ Bob Marley
This quote is taken from the song Judge Not.
The man who brought reggae to the masses, who had one of the most profound effects on music as we know it was also a terribly observant person. He was misunderstood by many, and though he was judged by others almost constantly, he resisted doing it himself.
This quote embodies so much about who he was and how he saw the world, and it's one that more people need to read and take to heart.
It seems like there is more hatred, vitriol, judgment and ugliness in the world now than there has ever been in my lifetime. I think part of it is the existence of the internet, the false power that people feel when they can hide behind a keyboard. If you wouldn't say something to someone's face, you shouldn't say it at all, but we all know that doesn't happen in real life. Just spend three minutes on social media and you'll see it.
I think part of it is the growing extremism in the country, the factions of people who are insistent on pitting themselves against others, for whatever reason they deem legitimate and appropriate.
I think part of it is the reality of our media these days. There isn't much true journalism anymore, and most of the talking heads on the television aren't communicating unbiased information, they are selling a side. Everything is spun, stories are biased, for as much as is discussed, there are all the stories that no one will touch. Keeping people ignorant is a great way to convince them that you are right.
I think part of it is the fact that empathy is dying. We don't care about other people enough anymore. We worry about ourselves, about whatever makes us happy right at this exact moment. We don't care about tomorrow or what happens to someone else. We are shortsighted and selfish. The only way to stop this is to start caring again. To teach kids to care. To walk the walk.
I think, though, that most judging comes from insecurity. We want to believe that we are better people, stronger people, happier people, more stable people...and instead of feeling secure with whoever we are, we decide that it's easier to see the flaws in others instead. Instead of working on our own issues, we point fingers and rage about the things we deem wrong with everyone else. Not because we're right but because it makes us feel better.
It's not worth it.
Life is short. Be happy. If you aren't happy, figure out why and work on it. Leave everyone else alone.
I think Marley was a damn genius.