On Judging

If there’s one thing that bothers me, it’s watching other people being told that they’re a worthless piece of skin. Or they just need to stop breathing. Or they just need to go die.

Like really?

Really?

You’re gonna tell someone that they don’t even deserve to exist?

Based on what, probably ONE encounter you’ve had with them?

At least most often that’s what I’ve noticed. Whenever someone says that about another person, honestly looking, they only have had one encounter with them. Or for example saying that someone deserves to rot in jail for what they did.

Now I’m not going to disagree that what some people do is ABSOLUTELY HORRID and REPULSIVE.

I won’t.

Because for some people, what they do is horrid and repulsive.

But does that really mean that they deserve to be ripped away from people who love them, trust them, and believe in them?

Or that you have the right, after one encounter with an individual, to say that they don’t deserve to breath or exist?

mcrukm

Alrighty then.

You can live on your throne.

All of the rest of us will grovel below you.

But I’ve recently become a fan of Dr. Who. And honestly, I was always hearing about this quote, something about 900 years, and then I heard it somewhere in Series 7 (or maybe it was 6 I’m not sure, I know it was Eleven who said it tho!).

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Credit to were-going-nowhere on Tumblr for the image.

The reality of that quote stands.

There has never been someone who is not important.

Honestly, and I think about this once in awhile, at any given moment there are a hundred, thousand, million histories out there. A hundred, thousand, million universes. All contingent on what each individual person in the world does.

History changes because someone turned left rather than right and made it to a job interview.

History changes because someone held a door open rather than rushing on with their day.

There has never been someone who was not important, and there never will be someone who is not important.

So you don’t get to say that some piece of skin needs to die.

Honestly you should be ashamed that you said that.

Because there is going to be someone out there that believes you.

Someone who’s going to say to themselves: “You know what? They’re right.”

And who knows what will happen. Suddenly they’re making poor decisions and one day someone they love, that loves them, could find them dead.

A life that was infinitely important cut short. Snuffed out.

All because someone told them they weren’t worth it. They were just a piece of skin, a worthless piece of skin (based on ONE interaction mind you), that needed to die.

Please, don’t ever be that person. Because you, no matter who you are, no matter if you’ve known them for their whole life or three days, no matter if you’ve lived with them since they were a baby or even for two months, no matter if they’re your best friend or worst enemy, you have NO RIGHT to tell someone that they’re worthless. 

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I’m very serious, actually.

See, you have no idea, even if you think you do, of what living that person’s life is like. So don’t ever make the mistake of thinking that you can judge and make such weighty decisions about them, no matter how long you’ve known them.

Just typing “don’t judge” into Google gave me over 700 million hits, of course I can’t tell you how many images, but I found a new one. There’s any number of quotes that I could have used, so here’s one that even just picking it out applies to our lesson today.

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Whoa.

I think that if you really let that sink in, you’d come to understand that you can’t really blame anyone from one interaction. Nor could you really judge them at all. To be totally honest, it’s not possible for you to ever learn someone’s full story.

That doesn’t mean don’t try.

You need to try. And when you do, I guarantee that you’ll find you hate them a little less. That doesn’t mean that you’ll excuse what they do, those things that are actually rude, nor should you…but don’t ever let those times when you only see what they do, and no nothing else about them, inform a split second decision to hate them and spew hate about them.

All of this because I saw a post on Facebook today where a guy was bumping into an elderly man and rushing him. Now I have no connection to this at all, nor do I know the situation. BUT while although it was rude of him to do what it’s purported that he did…that is no excuse to spread his picture and pain a negative image of him in the public eye.

Perhaps his daughter was at home sick.

Perhaps his son was injured and he was in a hurry.

Perhaps his significant other was panicking for some reason.

Perhaps his parents were being rushed to the hospital.

Perhaps…perhaps…perhaps….

You don’t know his story, nor do I. So we have no reason to judge him beyond the fact that he was supposedly rude. Do not ever call him a sorry waste of skin as the original poster did. Because I guarantee that if you were in a rush, you might be or might have been more than a little rude eh? But you had a reason.

My guess, and I can’t prove it in any way, is that he had a reason. Does that excuse his supposed actions? Nope. But you need to lighten your reaction. Understand that just be cause he was rude does not mean he doesn’t deserve to exist.

Just because someone is rude to you, doesn’t mean that you get the right to declare that they are worthless and/or should die.

Because everyone is worthy. There has never been someone, even in my short twenty three years of life, who has not been important.

fsa

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The Fault in Our Stars

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First of all, my suggestion is for you to find a copy of The Fault in Our Stars and read it. I honestly was a little, skeptical (if you can say that), at first. I read reviews that said it would make you cry and make you think. And they were right. So my advice is to read it. Well, read this first, then go and read it.

I took a few deep breaths and went back to the page. “I can’t talk about our love story, so I will talk about math. I am not a mathematician, but I know this: There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There’s .1 and .12 and .112 and infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I’m likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.

-John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

This particular line, delivered by Hazel Grace Lancaster in a eulogy for Augustus Waters, from The Fault in Our Stars really took me. It caught me and, honestly, I cried.

There have been times when I’m doing something and time just stops. It seems to be suspended in a state of infinite existence. I understand those moments. It seems as if everything around just stops. No one else exists, it’s just you and those around you. Perhaps you’re even alone, it just causes you to stop and breathe.

You stop, and in that moment, everything is perfect. Time stops and the perfection is beautiful. The time within that moment is a suspension in space, a moment that contains an infinitude of infinities. It’s that moment when you lose track of time, you never even notice it.

I have had very few such moments, and I can remember one this past summer. I was with someone that I loved and really, that moment, I would have preferred to be there the entirety of my life. I mean in that moment, they were my entire world. And honestly, they didn’t consider themselves special. They were very special to me. This book just made me wish for that true love. That person whom I can just look at them and feel their love. That person with whom just their presence causes me to feel at peace.

You say you’re not special because the world doesn’t know about you, but that’s an insult to me. I know about you.

-John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

That quote, it’s something that many people need to be told, including myself. We always assume that we have to be known by thousands of other people to be special. We all have to be the Marilyn Monroe, the Nelson Mandela, the Justin Bieber, the Barack Obama in order to be special. We have to be aware that we are each special to someone.

There is always one person in your life who will always consider you special. No matter what happens to you. No matter what you do. And to them, you mean something; you might even mean the world. Never let yourself go for too long not remembering that. And be sure to make friends and relationships with those who see your worth.

Hazel is different. She walks lightly, old man. She walks lightly upon the earth. Hazel knows the truth: We’re as likely to hurt the universe as we are to help it, and we’re not likely to do either.

People will say it’s sad that she leaves a lesser scar, that fewer remember her, that she was loved deeply but not widely. But it’s not sad, Van Houten. It’s triumphant. It’s heroic. Isn’t that the real heroism? Like the doctors say: First, do not harm.

The real heroes anyway aren’t the people doing things’ the real heroes are the people NOTICING things, paying attention. The guy who invented the smallpox vaccine didn’t actually invent anything. He just noticed that people with cowpox didn’t get smallpox.

-Letter to Van Houten from Augustus Waters, John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

Many people, nearly all of them, are obsessed with leaving their mark. But often times, as Augustus writes, all we do is cause damage. When we think we’re helping we unintentionally cause damage.

Have you ever just watched someone? (Not in a creepy way of course, that would be really disturbing.) But when you watch someone, you get to see what they enjoy to do. You get to see them at peace and happy. And if you love them, well, when you see them for who they are, you will fall in love with them more. Seeing them at their happiest and most vulnerable state, it will bring you a happiness that you can’t even explain.

It is so much greater to be loved deeply, rather than widely. That is not to say that it is wrong to be loved widely. But being loved deeply is much greater. For being loved is one of the most precious things you can experience; to know that someone else cares for you even more than they do themselves. If there is one way to leave a lesser scar and greater legacy, it is through loving.

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To hold you over

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I’m working on papers, papers contingent on my graduating in May so I’m hoping that you’ll be willing to enjoy this post to hold you over until I can get back to writing regularly. Think about this though, there are very few people who will go to any lengths to help you. Here’s another picture that I wish I could show to a couple people and hope they would get what it means.

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Beginning the Internship

I began my 600 hour internship today at SUNY Adirondack. It’s one of my last major tasks to complete before I get my masters degree. Initially I was nervous, as any person is before they begin working someplace new; but as the day came to an end, I found myself enjoying the work immensely. Now I haven’t exactly done much, merely observed today and helped prepare a couple things, but the people.

I always find it difficult to meet new people, let alone new groups of people. And that’s what today was. Me, one person I knew, and about a dozen I didn’t. Needless to say, I had a somewhat difficult time in the morning, but towards the afternoon I began to lighten up a bit, open up and talk with some of the students and my co-workers. I found, as usual, that my new co-workers and the students who work in that office are an awesome bunch and I couldn’t be happier to be working with them.

Just this one day solidified that student affairs is the place for me. Whether it be in Upward Bound or Residence Life or Student Activities or a Learning Center or any other location on campus. As long as I have interaction with students, I’m pretty sure that I’ll enjoy it. I think the only other thing that would satisfy me just as much would be tutoring or teaching mathematics.

I’m beginning to realize that it’s possible to have a career and do what you’re passionate about. For me, that’s invaluable because much of my family has always done what’s necessary to have a sufficient income, but I want more. I want to be able to live a brilliant life where I can be passionate and work. I see no reason to separate the two, and too many people that I know have done that because they see or know of no other way.

So why do I say all this?

First of all, I really do enjoy my new co-workers and I hope that I can continue to work with them long after my internship is over.

Second, I want to encourage others to work towards combining your passion and your job. “If you do what you love*, you will never work a day in your life. (Marc Anthony)”

So this internship, I’m sure you’ll hear about it again. For now though, I’m gonna enjoy it.

 

*I don’t necessarily agree with the word love here, I think it’s vastly overused, you’ll probably see an article sometime soon about that

Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture

There is something about living a real life that is enticing to me. Too many people just get up and go to work and come home and have dinner and go to bed to just rinse and repeat the next day.

I don’t want to do that.

Ever.

And if I do, please someone do something to snap me out of it.

So awhile back I found two things that really ended up getting me into really thinking about what it is I want out of life. I found them both from Trent Hamm’s website when I was really into learning about debt and other such things.

The first I initially ran into thanks to Upward Bound, that was Tuesdays with Morrie. But the second I found thanks to Trent, and that was Randy Pausch. He gave a truly inspiring lecture, one that even though I can’t quote directly from it, I know that it gave me a desire to change where I was headed. I didn’t want a boring 9-5 job. I didn’t want to get “back to the grind.” Hell I never want to be in the grind in the first place.

But anyways, enough of me rambling on, first a quote from his book The Last Lecture, and then you can watch the video. Now it’s a long’un. But trust me. Watch Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture and you won’t be disappointed.

I always look for the good in people, because how can you say that someone is always bad?

“Find the best in everybody. Just keep waiting no matter how long it takes. No one is all evil. Everybody has a good side, just keep waiting, it will come out.”
― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture