“Auggie can't change how he looks. Maybe we should change how we see.”
R.J. Palacio (via Mr. Tushman)
Good morning, friends! I hope you’re not fooled by this faux-spring weather. Something in my spirit suggests we have another cold spell coming. But that’s not our business today. Let’s get to it!
In honor of last night’s Oscars I reflect on this quote from the best (and one of the few) movie I saw last year, “Wonder”. It’s about a boy born with incredible appearance deformities and his first year of middle school when his parents first integrate him into mainstream school. Talk about a nightmare! But the movie was excellent and the messages, while mostly simplistic, were still yet powerful. Consider today’s quote.
My faith challenges me to refrain from judgement but judgement is exactly what I seem destined to do. Very often it seems to be that for which my eyes were created. To paraphrase Voltaire, “I look, therefore I judge.” Yet the paradox is that I despise to be judged. When judged I think, “Do they know what I’m going through? Do they know what my life’s been like?” Why is it so hard to connect the ease of outward judgement with the repulsion of received judgement? Perhaps because the process requires change.
One thing I’ve struggled to understand is why it is so hard to release unnecessary judgement. Confrontive experiences, sure, it’s easy to hold on to those judgements even if they are unhelpful. But passive experiences? Are we really better or improved when we passively label? Perhaps labels are the sugar in our lives, a habit that’s very hard to break.
* What simple step can you take today to reduce your negative labeling of persons?
* What positive swap can you make when a negative label appears out of nowhere?
* What consistent negative labels can you begin to address?
Change is hard; that much we know. But shutting off the faucet that spews poison into our own world seems a change worth attempting. Will you join me in this venture? Can we together affect our little spaces with less judgement and labeling? I think we can, so let’s do it! Have a wonderful week.
1 John 3:11-15