To Be Free

I can’t say where this began. Somehow, politics have become the new religion.
I see people that were once friends or even family are now on polar opposites of the world to each other.
They’re enemies now.
We’ve become a “Who did you vote for,” community and a “What God do you pray to,” society.
We treat symptoms but not the roots. We argue. We debate. We claim our flag in whichever condition it’s in and then we argue some more but to what avail?
Who benefits?
Or more importantly, who suffers?

I see the holier than thou attitudes and the finger pointing. I see the accusations and I see the lopsidedness of leniency, which decide who is forgivable and who is absolved, who is unforgiven and who is unable to be redeemed.
I am wondering about the skeletons in the closets, which everyone has. I am wondering of an old saying, “Who watches the watchmen?”
No one among us is so clean that we can “Cast the first stone.”

Truth is most people can’t pass their own test. Truth is we judge. In fact, we play judge and jury all the time. We do this without knowing, understanding, or even caring about all the facts or if there’s more to the story.

If we need someone to be guilty, they’ll be guilty.
If we need them to be innocent, they’ll be innocent in our eyes.

We judge by looks. We judge by color and background. We judge by accents and physical appearance. We judge by wealth and social or political connections.

Some might say appearance is king.
Is it?
I know there was a kid from the neighborhood. He was older than me. Big as ever. He was shredded on steroids and unbelievably muscular. His arms bulged, his chest was huge, and his back was wide. He had crazy blue eyes. He had an assassin’s eyes. He looked like he could beat through a brick wall without even throwing a punch.
Everyone was frightened of him. Yet, at the same time everyone flocked to him because of the way he appeared.

One day, a smaller, much skinner, and apparently much tougher kid jumped up and punched him right in the face. In which case, the big man went down. He was knocked out with one punch from a kid he outweighed by more than 100lbs. Every reminding us that not everything is as seems and that looks can be deceiving. Needless to say, the big man was quiet for a while.

See?
Not everything is as it seems and not everyone is what they always appear to be.

I watched a girl take a picture of her face on the bus. On her own, she was already attractive. She was pretty but I assume her looks were different from the commercial norm.
She touched up the photo. She dolled her face and changed the shape of her eyes. She filtered the picture and shopped the photo into something a bit sexier. Eventually, the picture wasn’t even her anymore. Instead, the picture was of a girl with a similar resemblance, much thinner, smoother, softer skin, and the hair was a tad more blonde.
“What will she do if she ever meets this guy,” is all I could think to myself.
I could see what she was doing because I was sitting in a neighboring seat across the aisle. She was also for from discreet,
I wasn’t overly looking but this was hard to ignore. I watched this girl send her picture to several different people.
“But that’s not even her,” I thought to myself.
Is that false advertisement?
Is this insecurity?
Is the need for attention?
Or was I just perplexed at the fact that yes, the girl was pretty on her own and in her own way. And sure, she was certainly very curvy. And sure, I agree there is a commercialized version of beauty, but whatever happened to the idea that beauty is in the eye of the beholder?

Whatever happened with the idea of being loved for who you are?
Is this even a real thing anymore?

I was laughing with a friend of mine at work about something he saw on one of his social pages.
“May your life be as wonderful as you pretend it is on social media.”

I think we have given too much to our interpretations. Perception has become truth and interpretation has become law.  So before going forward, please allow me to set the record straight.

Sins are like secrets; we all have them. We all make mistakes. We all do or say things we shouldn’t have. Not everyone is always on their game.
We are all human. But yet, we tend to forget this when the exercise of forgiveness comes around.

There is a write up about a well-known wellness guru that has apparently made a few mistakes. Unfortunately, these mistakes will create charges against him. But wait, two weeks prior, this man could do no wrong. So what happened?
Friends turned their backs. People call him a fraud. But why?
All of a sudden, we find out he’s no different from the rest of us and now he’s a villain because he gave in to a few character defects?

He made a mistake . . .
I get that
But does this automatically make him a pariah?

What about the millions of people he helped? What about the lives he changed. Or wait; what if there was something wrong? What if this man needed help but he had nowhere to go because everyone always came to him for help? Is he not deserving of a second chance or a shot to redeem himself?
Why is that?
What if this man, as great as he is with others became harm to himself? Does this take away all of his accomplishments in life.

Keep in mind, I do not believe anyone is free to escape punishment; however, I do believe the punishment should fit the crime, which is to assume there is a crime to begin with. Unfortunately, we live in a time where all are guilty until proven innocent. I think we all can relate to that.

Be advised:
I have sins.
I have flaws.
I have character defects
I have secrets
I have made mistakes which would be embarrassing should they ever come to light. I have done things less than responsible. I have made financial mistakes. I have overextended myself more time than once.
Know what that makes me?
It makes me no different from anyone else.
It makes me real.
No one among us is always a fit judge. But yet, we judge anyway and feel comfortable to convict on one side and pardon on another.

We judge when we shouldn’t but admittedly, I give into this too.
Earlier this week, I delivered a presentation to a different atmosphere of clients.  I was intimidated. My anxiety was through the roof. I had no idea what to expect and no clue on what the turnout would be.
Naturally, I assumed the worst. I felt back into my own personal biases and subconscious programming. I judged. I figured. And you know what? I was wrong on all accounts.

In my mind, this is the kind of thinking that keeps me trapped. This is the kind of thinking that keeps me stuck to a limited way of living. If I am to be free then I need to free myself of my thinking.
I need to unlearn my preconceived notions and allow myself to live free of my personal biases.
I need to step away from my judgement and just be me. Don’t worry about others. Don’t wonder. Just perform.
Besides, all else is out of my hands. So going forward, I think I’ll just take my own advice and leave nothing up to the judges.

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