Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged. . .

I truly believe there are more of us than there are of them. And I used to see things this way, life, people, and the interaction between us and them. I used to think about the different divisions of crowds. I’d think about the different regimes of popularity and the flavors of the crowds.
There are billions of people in this world. None of us are absolutely identical. We all have our similarities but yet, everyone of us alive has our own personal uniqueness. This is what makes us who we are.
I truly believe, however, that there are more of us each day who find that life is a hard place to be. There are those who have struggles in life. There are more of us than there are of them. Yet, there is this line in the sand that no one dares to cross or even acknowledge. There are these terms, which no one dares to address. There are words we use to define one another. There are judgements and stigmas that cripple us from saying anything about ourselves or coming forward. To believe that cancel culture is new does not make sense to me. We have been canceling out one another for centuries, — it’s just more televised now.

The truth is there are more people that live with anxieties or depressive thinking than there are those who do not. There are statistics that prove this, — which, in fairness, I stay away from statistics.
I stay away from studies like this because I never know how these studies are run. Take me, for example. I am a statistic. So are you, by the way. We’re all a statistic in one column or another.
We are all divided by race and culture. We are divided by socioeconomics, physical health and mental health. We are classified by our educational background, our job status, religious beliefs and our preferences. Somewhere, we are a statistic in a column, pertinent to a study on life or the lack thereof.

I hear talks about culture compliance to include a sense of culture cohesion. I hear people talk about racism from one side of their mouth without noticing the irony of what they say on the other.
Meanwhile, how different are we?
We all have goals, hopes, dreams and aspirations. We all have our private motivations. We have personal inspirations. We have the right to be unique and different. But yet, the truth is difference is different, which is fine. But God forbid we have a different opinion. Or God forbid we have an imperfection. Or wait, no. God forbid we have some quality that is deemed as imperfect or an opinion that opposed the popular norm.
God forbid we don’t have the perfect shape, the right hair, the right waistline, the right voice or the right character. God forbid we don’t walk the same way or think the same. God forbid we allow this world to be varied with colorful choices and variations of people. You could have your God and I could have mine. I could love who I choose and so could you and neither of this would be an insult or an abomination simply because we disagree.

I often wonder how far we’ve grown since the days when we played in the sandbox. Even then, everything was a comparison. What toys do you have? What friends do you have? How tall are you? Are you cool? When it comes to picking teams, are you picked first or last because believe it or not, this childish moment of peer selection has a great impact on the rest of our life. 

We stem from a series of judgments. We succumb to the pressures of both internal and external judgments, which creates the greatest deception of all. This is otherwise known as our perception, which we all believe is true. This must be true, right? After all, this is based on our experience, right?
However, perception is not truth. Oftentimes, our memory lies to us.
We only perceive that our perception is true. We assume. We judge. More accurately, we base this on our experiences and opinions. We base our judgments on our personal programming, our subconscious programming, and of course, our personal biases. 

I have heard people tell others not to judge. And yet, I’ve seen these people play both judge and jury — and they do this quite comfortably; as if they deem themselves an authority or more of an appropriate judge. There are some in this world that believe very highly in themselves, to which I say one of my favorite lines. “It’s time to get off your high horse and walk for a while, pal.” Meanwhile, there are more of us than there are of them.

I laugh as I write this to you.
I laugh because perhaps you’re wondering, “What the hell does he mean by that?”

There are more of us. There are more people that are only trying to figure out the best way to live. There are more people looking to be happy. There are more people that look to help build the world than there are those who look to destroy. And I know this is silly to say.
I know what the news looks like. I know that there are different versions of the news; all of them claiming to be true or right and yet, most of the news these days is conflicted with political views.

Right side. Left side. But what about the heart?
There is us and them. There are democrats and republicans. There are people that believe that Covid-19 is just a hoax; that it doesn’t exist, that it’s just the flu. And there are people that believe that vaccines are a hoax. There are people that are for the government and those who are against it. There are those who are pro-life and those who are pro-choice.

I listened to a man on a job site who once told me the Nazis were actually nice people. He told me his father was in an occupied territory and the soldiers were very kind to him. Of course, there was no yellow star stitched into his clothing. I can say that I have a generation of my family who died in places like Mauthausen or Auschwitz. I suppose they might disagree with the opinion that the Nazi soldiers were nice people. The man on the job site told me the Holocaust was manmade and that it didn’t happen the way our history books tell us. He said Jews funded the war to make a profit. And he meant this.

In fairness, I don’t know if anything happened the way our history books tell us. I don’t know about anything that happened before. I know that no one in the history department ever spoke with this man. And I hope they never do. Otherwise, history is going to be an interesting class in the future.

I don’t believe everyone is as hateful as they seem. I am a fan, although skeptical. However, I am a fan of Anne Frank. She is impressive to me. Her diaries are impressive. She used this as a means to survive the cruelties of the climate and the world around her. I get this.
Frank wrote, “It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet, I cling to them because in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.”

Amazing . . .
(by the way, there are people that claim she didn’t write this too, so who knows where the quote came from. But either way, I like it.)

There are good people out there. There are people like us. There are people that feel and care and see the beauty in things. There are people who live, love, laugh and learn.
There are people whose heart may go unmentioned or anonymously, but yet, they are the truest of all people. I know this is difficult to see.
I know about the ugliness around us. I know there are those who look to take advantage or look to knife someone in the back. I know there are those who would gladly use someone as firewood in case their life grows cold.
I know this.
I also know that the world can be a cold place. I know this world can be lonely. However, I can say without any doubt that I have met some of the most amazing people in this world.
Some of them were wealthy. Some of them were toothless in a homeless shelter. Yet, no matter where they were, what they looked like, or how their financial situation appeared; these were the most beautiful people I have ever seen.

I want to be like them — so free that I am no longer held to the constraints of my inaccurate judgments. I want to be like them — free from the social ties which bind so many of us to stigmas and status symbols. I want to be like them — so free that no judgment, no word, nor opinion can degrade us. I want to be like this, like them, like they are.

I want to be free.
Don’t you?

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