Monday, September 12, 2016


No matter who you are, what you look like, what you believe, or how you behave, someone out there will judge you. There will always be someone who doesn’t agree with you, doesn’t like you, wants to prove you wrong or shut you down, who finds you offensive or stupid or ugly or worthless.

Don’t listen to those people.

The fact is that their judgment of you says more about their character than it says about yours.

But why do people judge each other anyway? Why do people insult each other, feel the need to prove each other wrong? Why do people actually want to hurt each other?

When I was younger, I dealt with my share of bullies. And my mom would tell me the same thing that I’m sure you’ve heard: It’s because they’re jealous of you.

I’m not so sure this is correct.

Rather, I’ll tell you what I’ve discovered on the matter, of why people actually want to hurt each other. First, a small anecdote:

My friend B has some people whom she is close to. Lately, these people have all been making drastically different life choices than they used to. For better or worse, these choices have had an impact on their personality and on their level of happiness. B, on the other hand, has stayed more or less consistent with the types of choices she’s been making.

This fact alone doesn’t make any of them right or wrong, per se. B’s consistency might mean that she’s staying true to herself and to her character. It also could mean that she’s stubborn or stuck in the past.

These other peoples’ changes might mean that they’re evolving, that they have learned better ideas about how to handle life. It also might mean that they’re screwing up their lives.

Change itself is neither inherently good nor bad. It depends on the results of the change that help us figure out whether it is ideal or unideal.

Here’s the sad fact: B’s friends are all obviously, clearly, any way you look at it, less happy than they were before these changes and choices.

What we might assume from this fact, then, is that these changes and choices may not be ideal for them, right?

You’ve changed. You’re less happy. Therefore, the change is probably not good.

Okay then.

One day, B was at dinner with some of these people. And at this dinner, they were trying to give her advice. “You know, it’s really not so bad if you…” or “You should try this thing that I’ve been trying…”

This is ironic though, isn’t it?

Here is B who has, more or less, stayed grounded in her choices, in her attitudes, in how she handles herself. And, all throughout, she has remained at a basically-consistent level of happiness – if not getting happier.

Here are these friends of hers who have been making different choices. Those choices have made these people less happy.

And yet, they are the ones trying to give her advice? They are trying to suggest to her that she makes the same choices they are making? How on earth does that make sense?

But that’s a trick question. Of course it doesn’t make sense.

Now then.

I mentioned already that something you’ve always been told is wrong: He doesn’t like you because he’s jealous of you.

Now I’m going to dispel another myth for you. Hopefully the pieces I’m setting up here will start connecting:

There’s this idea out there of people “self-destructing.” People are going downhill; they’re backsliding; they’re hurting themselves; whatever. They’re “self-destructing,” we say. We might say that B’s friends I’ve been describing are “self-destructing.”

But that’s not entirely accurate.

People don’t self-destruct. In fact, there is no such thing as self-destructing. There is only kamikaze.

“Kamikaze,” you’ll recall, is what the Japanese called their suicide pilots in World War II. Kamikaze pilots were people who tried to destroy themselves and everyone around them.

The fact is that people do not self-destruct. They kamikaze.

People do not simply go downhill quietly, in a vacuum, in isolation. No. People go down, and they want to bring you with them.

They say that Misery loves company. (I actually agree with this phrase!) When people start to become unhappy, they want you to become unhappy with them.

When that person tried to hurt you on the school yard – or when they try to hurt you now at work or at home or in church or anywhere else you go –it’s because they are sinking. And they want you to sink with them.

Because people do not self-destruct. They kamikaze.

And when people are kamikaze-ing in your sphere, that says more about their character than it says about yours.

People will judge you and insult you and try to make you feel ugly or worthless. It’s all just a form of kamikaze.

People will try to hurt you – verbally, physically, sexually, emotionally. Kamikaze.

So please: get out of that sphere. Get away from the people that are trying to bring you down. Decide for yourself that you are beautiful and worthwhile. Decide for yourself that you are compassionate and worth the world’s time – and, for that matter, worth your own time.

Because you are. You are worth every second of yourself. If anything, it’s the world that should be in awe of you.

Yes, you. Whoever you are.

You are worth every second of yourself.

Please, please, start thinking so. 


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