When we consider the fate of others, we often place ourselves on a plateau of superiority and view their decisions and mistakes through the lens of our current circumstances. We scoff, and ask ourselves: Who does that? How could they be so stupid?
We conveniently forget or overlook the missteps of our own hidden past, which lacked the scrutiny of others, and arrogantly offer ridicule, criticism, and judgement. After all, we feel we were born above them. We are more experienced, and more sophisticated, but most importantly, we are smarter.
Ultimately, we either fail to understand, or much less care, that another person’s circumstances, options and desperation have informed or guided their decisions, and thus their subsequent fate. And under the same pressures and constraints, what would we have really done?
Undoubtedly, the same.
In life, we all do and have done regrettable things – the result of momentarily lapses in judgement, knee-jerk responses, substance-induced fogs, and quite frequently the influence, manipulation or deception of our passions.
That is the price of being human.
From overcoming those mistakes, however, whether publicly or in private, we derive compassion and empathy, and thus, elevate our humanity.
But when we fail to do so, we become less than those we attempt to judge since we have errored and endured, but learned nothing.
2018 © Eric Christopher Webb
The WordsByWebb blog distributes a weekly quotation and reflection every Tuesday from National Black Authors Tour bestselling author and multi-talented writer Eric Christopher Webb (E.WEBB?!) to inspire, motivate and encourage personal development of its readers. The blog also regularly shares news, updates, new poetry and excerpts of the writer’s latest work. Webb, a spoken word artist, former Washington News Correspondent for Thomson Newspapers and nationally-syndicated Soul Searching columnist, has also been featured in movies, music videos, commercials and literary documentaries on HBO, BET Weekend’s Evening of Spoken Word, BET’s Rap City, Video Jukebox, The Party Machine, The Learning Channel, Voice of America and XM Radio. He is the author of five books, including "The Garvey Protocol: Inspired By True Events," a 2013 Phillis Wheatley Book Award Finalist for First Fiction and the National Black Authors Tour bestseller, "Love Letters, Death Threats & Suicide Notes." He has also contributed to numerous anthologies, journals and magazines.
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