As I look upon this new year, I have a challenge for myself. It’s to stop doing two things:
- Stop judging rich and successful people
- Stop judging moral and religious people
I can guarantee that these two commitments will help me more than all other advice I’ve been given all year. Now, I’m not saying to look lightly on bad things that will most likely be done by these types of people. If there is another Oscar Pistorius (the Olympian that shot his girlfriend to death) that comes out this year, I might just judge that person, but judging is an act that is often accompanied by avoiding. I make judgements about murderers because I want to avoid being a murderer and to avoid being bad (and avoid jail).
This is all very logical, except when we start judging rich people or people with strong moral codes. We find out about something horrible like Pistorius shooting his girlfriend and we think, “what’s wrong with him? I want to avoid that.” We hear about a pastor who has molested some kid and we think, “there is something there that I want to avoid.” That’s when our mystery hats come on. With the fast paced world we live in and the hundreds of articles we read, we often just wear those mystery hats till we see the biggest thing in their life that defines that person and then we move on. Then what do we do subconsciously? We avoid that thing.
Honestly. If my girls being a child star is going to mean they turn out like Lindsay Lohan or Miley Cyrus, count us out! But does it? I think this quote by Will Smith might be more true than we think it is, or if nothing else, not quoted enough:
“Money and success don’t change people; they merely amplify what is already there.” -Will Smith
Really, there are a lot of people that are in religious positions that are “successful” in that practice that I want to avoid being like. Do I throw the baby out with the bathwater, though? Should I renounce my God because of some hypocrite? I think not. I am who I am because of ME, not someone else.
With all that said, the real problem that I face and hope to avoid is constantly judging people on things that don’t quite define them. I want to be rich, successful and spiritual person. It’s not a bad thing, but when I say it out loud it feels dirty. Why? Maybe it’s because there is something there that I’m trying to avoid. I think the dirtiest word there is “rich”. If you can say “I want to be rich” and not feel any icky than you are on the right track.
So, the real question is are we subconsciously avoiding success (and even religion and morals) because of some else’s sins? What do you think? Is this something you struggle with too? Are we sabotaging ourselves purely out of the fear that we will become something we don’t want to be?