When You Know Better, You Do Bette
By: Bianca Johnson
It’s easy to criticize and judge the character of a lost soul when making wise choices come easy for you; but what about those you choose to judge?
Everyone will experience struggle and hardship. How you deal with your pain and disappointment might be different from that of your brother or sister. However, that does not excuse malign behavior. I believe all people were born innocent before being corrupted by the world. I also believe this is why rehabilitation programs are prevailing across the country. If this was not so, every jailhouse would be overcrowded with people who weren’t given a second chance.
In the past, I judged people who did not have similar morals or values as myself. I didn’t think I was better than them, but I believed I made better choices.
It is my belief that we were all born with equal potential and abilities. I could never assume that I am better than another individual when all it takes is one bad decision to gain a new identity and an unfair stigma.
Now, everyone makes mistakes. Some of us do things intentionally and try to call it a mistake once we are caught. I truly believe that as long as you grow from your mistakes or nefarious intentions, you too deserve a second chance.
Heartfelt testimonies, stories, and accounts of people’s lives have drastically increased my awareness of behavior challenges that affect personal growth and development. Some questions that reflect examples of this would be: How is a child who has been beaten all his or her life supposed to function normally in society? How is a girl who was robbed of her innocence supposed to have trust in men? What does a boy introduced to drug dealing at an early age know about having a regular job? What does a man born to a pimp know about respecting women? What do the motherless and fatherless know about togetherness?
There is a large percentage of people who were born into abuse, misuse, neglect, and dysfunction. Until someone directs them to the light at the end of the tunnel, they are forever in darkness and despair. You do have to make the change on your own, but someone or something has to spark a desire for you to change. Everyone has an opportunity to minister to someone at some point in life. You never know what a short, positive conversation can do for a person. It is okay to criticize, as long as you do so constructively, but don’t just sit back and judge that person as if your past is squeaky clean.
If you have a gift for encouraging, inspiring, or motivating people, use it. Sometimes, that’s all that’s needed. If you have an awakening story or experience that someone can relate to, don’t be ashamed or embarrassed to share. Your testimony may lift the burden of fear and doubt. Groups for former alcoholics, battered women, convicts, etc. are formed for this very reason. No one can relate better than a person who has had a similar experience. In groups, ideas on how to cope with certain situations are exchanged and a person’s battles/concerns are heard with considerable attention.
For every sad, sorry, or individual who lost his or her way, there’s a hero just one conversation away. Make it your daily assignment to ignite someone with a positive voice. You might prevent someone from becoming a statistic.
“Make sense of what you do, and make every cent count.”