On Not Judging Others
A friend recently asked me if it was possible to lift people up, to be open to helping everyone you can, without risking getting hurt or burned or brought down by those who for whatever reason seem too damaged themselves to be helped. I said it is.
You have to be open to the idea that anyone you meet can be someone who might want, need, or be open to being given a hand – otherwise, you risk becoming cynical, and it’s impossible to be both cynical and an Awesomist. If you try too hard to discern what kind of person someone is before you open yourself up to the possibility of lifting them up, then you’re focused more on outcome than on process. It means your focus is on their flaws, and on how you can protect yourself. That restricts your light, it doesn’t share it.
You may get hurt. You may get burned. And none of it matters, because you are greater than that – and petty people who try to hurt or burn you will never diminish you unless you allow it. When you can be hurt and burned and remain yourself, then the light that you emanate will attract the ones who need you most.
This led to a second question – can cynics be lifted up, and helped? I said they can – but they have to choose it. You can only do so much for someone before it starts to drain your own energy. After that, the best thing you can do is focus on being an example – then they get to choose whether to emulate you.
Not everyone who may need help wants help; but everyone gets to decide when they have borne too much for too long. Everyone’s breaking points differ – and the best thing someone who is still strong can do to help is extend a hand, and not judge anyone who chooses to take it.