Sometimes people make mistakes, but does that give anyone the right to shame them? If there is no perfect people, then we being imperfect ourselves cannot judge others. When more than one person is involved then there are multiple sides to the story. The fault line sways back and forth leaving plenty of space for speculation on what really happened. My grandmother always said “If people don’t know something bad about you they will make it up.” Isn’t that cruel to speculate about others’ lives. That in an instant we can assume the work of a jury. Who are we to judge?
It is wrong to hate others, to be malicious, and to be vindictive. Instead we should hate the thing they did or hate the situation, but not whoever is involved. We are all one bad decision away from a life-altering apocalypse. Think about little decisions made over a lifetime. We got in the car with them. We did that with him or her. We said no to that place. The golden rule we all hear growing up “treat others the way you want to be treated” is forgotten as we embrace social media as an outlet to hate.
I went to a parenting seminar one time that taught “praise in public, punish in private”. Maybe this approach could be remembered when someone we know messes up. Ridicule doesn’t make the bad go away, it is like stirring up poop. It just stinks worse! It often pushes them into continuing on the wrong path of self-destruction. What if they are already hurting for what they did and being humiliated only makes them suicidal?
I remember in 1998 when Monica Lewinsky was publicly shamed. Prior to the scandal, my class had a mock election. I heard great things about Clinton at home so that is who received my vote. I didn’t know a thing about politics. Maybe I still could learn a few things. Some time later when the indiscretions came out I overheard a lot of public opinions both at home and school. I was young, but I remember some horrible things that were said about her, which made me think of her as a bad person. It wasn’t until I listened to her speak in the above link that I felt convicted for forming judgmental opinions on others. She made a poor choice,with a married man, but she didn’t deserve for the world to hate her. There are plenty of moments in my life for which I will one day have to give an account. So I am going to remind myself that it is only God’s place to judge, not mine or anyone else’s. People should be treated with respect if for no other reason than that they are human. To be human is to be complex and, therefore, easily misunderstood.