Have you ever wondered why when someone dies that all anyone remembers is the good times and the good things about that person? I’ve often wondered that, but now I understand why…that’s what you want to remember and that’s what you want others to remember. No one wants to remember the struggles of our loved ones who have passed away, because they often bring pain…and sometimes judgment from “pharisees” who never had anything tragedy happen in their life and their children, husband, and their entire family are perfect. Those families portray their families as perfect, that nothing is done wrong in their family, or that there are, god forbid, problems in their families. The truth is that we as humans, are made up of both good and bad, of good and bad choices, and of mistakes that affect more than yourself. Its just that some like to portray that image of perfection rather than let others see their hurt, their pain, or their dysfunction. And yes, I believe every family has some dysfunction to a degree. We just have to recognize that….maybe your dysfunction is that everything is perfect all the time.
The news media does this as well. I’ve noticed that with select celebrities, before their deaths, the media gives them hell…reporting on all their mishaps…failed rehabs, drunken arrests, domestic violence…you name it. BUT, once they die, the media almost idolizes that same celebrity they denounced before. They begin to put them up on a pedestal for weeks after their death, like everything they ever said before didn’t matter.
Well, I guess some of you have wondered that about me and this blog. I mean, all I have done is to sing Aaron’s praises and to talk about what a wonderful person he was. And all of that is true, but as we all have a dark side….a side that struggles with something in this world ~ whether you believe you do or not…you do ~ Aaron had some struggles and some sides to him that weren’t so pleasant. And maybe some day, I will feel comfortable enough and confident enough in the people that read this that he nor I will be judged for his struggles. Maybe I will feel confident enough that there will be none of those perfect pharisees that will scrutinize those shortcomings and will use those to gossip to others about my son and my family. The sad thing is, I know there are people in my own extended family that would use any information gained to gossip about and judge those shortcomings.
Why is it that we feel the need to judge others in their shortcomings? Is it because we can’t see our own in the mirror we look into each day? Probably so…It’s easier to see faults in others than it is in ourselves. But the one thing you should never do is to make this statement: “That would NEVER happen in MY family.” Let me tell you, you cannot control what happens to or in your family. It may seem that you have an illusion of control. But control does not rest in your hands. Control rests in so many hands…free choice, God, situational events, etc. Due to that lack of control, our lives and the lives of our family can be put in circumstances beyond your control…and tragedy ensues. Now some of you might say, “They didn’t pray hard enough. They didn’t take their children to church.” Whatever the excuse you develop in your mind, you have no idea what the parents did or didn’t do. You have no idea the prayers they prayed, and you have no idea about their church attendance.
We have become such a society that is quick to blame someone for anything. And if a child or loved one takes an unexpected destructive path, the world is quick to judge them and the people closest to them. So, as time develops, I may share some things with you that I am not quite ready to share, but know this:
Despite his struggles, Aaron WAS a good person and he was son, he was a brother, a grandson, a cousin….and I could go on. There were people that loved and continue to love him with all of their heart. Our struggles don’t define us..what defines us is how we treated others despite our struggle, despite our flaws, despite our failings. Love for others is what defines us…and that is one thing I can say about Aaron…without doubt, love defined him.
Until I’m ready to share, please look at other families who might have some less than perfect situations taking place in their lives. Instead of judging them for those situations, love them through them. That will mean more to that family than anything else you could do.
4 thoughts on “The Pharisee Mentality”
People judge what they do not understand and they don’t/won’t take the time to gain the understanding about certain things families/people are going through because they think it’s always a choice or it’s dirty….Sometimes the people who are so judgemental make me so angry and other times I feel sorry for them…..they can’t get beyond their own small world to see that the person who is struggling is amazing and has a good heart. Yes, at some point they have made some bad decisions and those bad decisions have consequences, and as a parent those consequences always have an effect on you! If people would only open their eyes and realize that life can be completely unfair and that your pain and heartbreak are palpable, some days more so than others but every day!! As parents of family members who struggle often we ask ourselves what could I have done differently or maybe if I had done this or that….doing that drives you crazy, we judge ourselves harshly enough, how dare others who won’t take the time gain knowledge about our situation judge us! After the anger subsides that’s when I feel sorry for them because they are missing out on getting to really know someone or helping someone and their lives are much less for it……
Aaron was a great friend to my son Rhett, he was amazing and had a great heart and our lives are so much richer because we knew him!!!
Thank you, Jodi. Aaron and Rhett were very close. You are so right…people judge what they do not understand. Thank you for your kind words about Aaron. He loved Rhett very much!
I think judgement of others is a choice between deflection and reflection.
As humans placed here on earth to help each other and be the best we can be, we should spend more time reflecting on who we are as a person and how to be better and do better.
But sometimes what we see in the mirror is not all that attractive and rather than reflect and fix ourselves, we deflect our faults and our thoughts and opinions and judgements on others because it is easier to look through a glass than it is to study the mirror we look in.
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