Amy Patterson – “My Thoughts”
“I would have become a Christian until I met one.” – Ghandi
I want to apologize. To you and to them. Everyone. At least everyone that has read my columns in the past, or been a subject there of.
After a week of covering crime, bad news, death, and sadness, as my job frequently produces, it’s easy for me to feel angry (disappointed?) at the world.
Quite often, these feelings find their way into my editorials. And they shouldn’t.
I remember a time when an acquaintance of mine shared one of my “rants” on Facebook. A guy, a stranger to me, called me out (indirectly) as being judgmental and out of line. He didn’t (doesn’t) know me, so I shouldn’t have taken his comments personally. He was hating the game, not the “playa.”
It still made me mad.
The thing is, this guy was right. I find it unfortunate that I didn’t realize it until today.
I am in no position to judge anyone, whether or not they “deserve” it. It’s not my job to decide if people are living life the way they should, be it in their mannerisms, the way they raise their children, or anything else.
I, like everyone, make mistakes and am human. Humans are prone to accidents and make poor decisions.
Last week, I read an article called “I Hate Church.” It sparked a sudden realization within myself.
For those of you who know me on a personal basis, you probably know that I’m not very “religious.” Yes, I am a baptized and confirmed Catholic, but I rarely attend church or pray (in the traditional sense). This doesn’t mean that I don’t still believe in God and consider myself a Christian.
This article I read spoke volumes to the depths of my soul.
In this article, the author speaks of churches and how their congregations treat people that are “different” from them; usually the treatment these folks receive is less-than-desirable and definitely less-than-Christian.
The thing is, it doesn’t matter how often you find yourself in the pew or running through the beads of your rosary. If you aren’t practicing what you preach, it’s all for not.
Isn’t it ironic that the tattooed and pierced guy is more accepting of his fellow mankind than the “Christians” who toss Bible verses into conversation like salt in their pasta water (side note: yes, please season your pasta water – it makes a huge difference)? I think so.
It shouldn’t matter if you agree with the way someone is living their life. It’s their(!) life to live, not yours. If they ask for your opinion, give it. If they don’t, don’t.
We should all love our “brothers” and “sisters” and treat them with respect and dignity, regardless of what we think of them.
In the not-so-distant past I’ve judged people because they don’t live the way I do or how I think they should. I’ve realized that it’s none of my business and not my job to lay that judgment on them. Perhaps I’m jealous, who knows.
I don’t expect anyone to never judge another person again; that’s unrealistic. By the same token, would it be so hard to give each other the benefit of a doubt? We’re all just trying to do the best we can.
I know that I won’t stop passing judgement on other people, but I’ll do my best to be “fair” in my opinions.
In theory, everyone should be trying to live as Jesus did. He hung out with prostitutes, lepers, and sinners. He never met a person he didn’t like, or at least care for.
Are we doing the same?
I know I’m not, but it’s something I’m going to work on. After all, that’s what life is: One big work in progress.