I understand… I can relate…. Enough to not judge you.
I often compare other’s flaws against the best of myself.
I set aside the mistakes I have made, the times I have failed, the inconsistencies between my actions and my desired morals…
Now when I am judging or about to judge I try to look within myself first. I try to see how I can relate.
I have never dealt with obesity, but I do struggle with overeating and resisting temptations. I have had minor addictions to junk food. I am fortunate to not gain much weight when I binge eat though. My struggle is not as great, but I cannot blame someone else when I can not control my own actions…
I do not currently find my meaning and purpose in materialism, but as a young man growing up low-income, I yearned for material possessions to prove my worthiness.
In a society where the worth of a human is so often decided based on their material and financial worth, I can understand how others would use materialism as a means to build themselves and prove themselves. I can not blame anyone for material desire…
I have felt emptiness within myself and tried to fill it with unhealthy things. That has never been hard drugs for me, but I can understand how that could become the outlet for others…
I have driven while intoxicated, but I was not pulled over. I thought lower of my peers who had a DUI or DWI, but perhaps they just weren’t as fortunate as I was that night.
I have smoked marijuana plenty of times. Privileged white people get away with that most of the time… Young Black boys and men on the other hand end up in prison for doing the exact same thing. They then get stuck in the system.
Did they deserve prison any more than me? No.
Thus I can say that a “criminal” is only a criminal when society has chosen for them to be.
I am as “criminal” as most Black men in jail today.
I can’t understand or relate completely to another’s circumstances. My exact circumstances are unique to myself. But I can look within and use my circumstances to relate to others, rather than to judge.
What I see in individuals are merely symptoms of a system. A system that is run by the wealthy and powerful 1% and the corporations, at the expense of most of us. This system was designed to oppress from the very beginning of this nation. Our system was designed to put Black people behind bars and keep them down. Our system is deigned to keep people poor. Our food system is designed to prey on others and keep them unhealthy and addicted.
Thus, I can not blame or judge the individuals for the actions that have “come from them” and resulted in suffering for themselves and others. The system was designed for them to make mistakes, so that the oppression and injustices being doled out could be rationalized and falsely proven as needed. The daily challenges to overcome in this system are so many and I can not hold it against anyone for the weight of this system and society being too much at times.
That is why judging others will not solve your problems, or their problems or all of our societal problems.
That is why we must act with compassion and thoughtfulness.
That is why we must think much deeper and look for the roots of problems, not focus solely on the branches and leaves.
That is why we must uplift one another, empower one another, and work together to transform ourselves and the systems of our society at the same time.
Sure we can help ourselves and focus on ourself, but if we don’t help each other, we’ll always be oppressed.