We are inundated in this country with aggressive judging like never before. From political figures to television characters, everyone seems to have an opinion on absolutely everything—-AND they want everyone to know about it. Sheesh. Want to watch a video of someone cruelly bashing a particular restaurant? It’s there. Of course these big-mouthed individuals don’t think about how their words might destroy the livelihood of the owner. Interested in young women’s thoughts about various makeup brands? There’s a ton of them. I’ve actually made purchases based on their recommendations. Looking for commentaries about our present and past U.S. Presidents? Let’s just say there’s Google pages ad nauseum.
We’ve become a nation that believes since so much information is at our fingertips, we possess enough to validate our feelings and twist them into cruel judgements. And regardless of what type of social media we use, many of us get bionically brave when unleashing our thoughts for the whole world to read. Sadly, we often end up regretting our hasty words, suffering long-term consequences that result in the loss of lifelong friends or family members. Yours truly is guilty as charged. How about you?
Of course, like you, I hear many say, “Oh, it’s just this generation. They don’t get it. They accept everyone, love everyone, and have no work ethic whatsoever. The future is hopeless with this group in charge.”
As the mother of two grown daughters, I see the future in a very positive light. They are intelligent hard workers who love others and try not to pass swift judgement in the slightest. They and their friends are too busy with their own lives to get angry at everyone who doesn’t agree with them. We could learn a great deal from the young people of today, my friends. I realize I’ll lose some readers over this blog post, but it’s to the point in this hate-filled world that I’m prepared to take that chance.
Currently, it’s driving me nuts watching all of the vile political campaign ads in preparation for the November election. Some things never change. But sweet readers, there’s a reason Netflix and Hulu is so incredibly popular. Quite simply, we are SICK AND TIRED of commercials or news channels that sling out biased opinions on everything from the best candidate to the next disaster waiting to strike. Enough. I’m sick to death of it. Bring on Netflix, The History Channel, Stars, etc. I’ve made the decision to allow God do all the judging. And although sometimes it’s difficult, I have faith that He’s the one in control and knows what’s best. I’ll just chill with an entertaining flick and a big bowl of popcorn. And yes, I think God believes that’s perfectly okay. He wants us to rest in Him and so I shall.
I’m especially disappointed in the cruel comments concerning the results of the Emmys. No, I didn’t watch the show this year. Instead, I was hiking with friends in a beautiful canyon in Arizona. It’s taken me a while to figure out where my priorities should be and I knew the internet would give me a quick rundown of the results anyway. After scanning several pages that revealed the “winners and losers,” it became obvious that viewers are passionate about The Game of Thrones, Outlander (I’ll reserve my great admiration for Sam Hueghan) Stranger Things, and The Crown. Many on social media shared their jubilance over the big wins and also expressed anger over some of their favorite shows being overlooked. But I’ve never read such vitriol until I clicked on some of the pages discussing the new Queer Eye reality show.
Allow me to be upfront and say I’m so thankful that my 22 and 27 year-old daughters told me about this show. It's my favorite on TV and I’ve binge watched every season. Before you start to judge, please know that my children are Christians, just as their parents. And before you choose to be appalled, allow me to explain WHY this show is my favorite and WHY I think it swept the Emmys: the main characters love unconditionally, just as Jesus commanded. Whether it’s Jonathan who lives boldly and with his heart on his sleeve, Karamo who grew up loving Jesus and consequently longs to help others, Bobby, a gifted designer from rural America who used to live in his car trying to survive, these men are MEN. They’re earned the right to be on this show due to their gracious hearts and incredible talent. There’s also Tan, who has an uncanny sense of style and who listens sincerely, trying to empower the guests with smart clothing choices. And lastly, my favorite is Antoni, an immigrant from Poland who gives heart-felt insight into the importance of acceptance, truly trying to understand the feelings of others. He knows, like many of us, that providing a good meal or showing a man how to fish is the greatest way to exhibit love. Why would a reality show about men with such character traits NOT win three EMMYS? Good grief!
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Queer Eye beat out the past winner, Shark Tank, which had won this category three years in a row. I’m sure you’ve seen that show as well. It’s the reality show about billionaires who listen to sales pitches and then choose to invest in their favorite endeavors. While I do love and watch Shark Tank on a regular basis, (who hasn’t watched it and thought to themselves, “why didn’t I think of that?”) after five minutes into it I can't help but hear the aggressive comments made by some of the investors. Naturally, they're simply looking at the bottom line. I’ll opt for Queer Eye any day.
Before my Christian friends open their email account in preparation to zing me a hate-filled letter, perhaps you should consider the following:
Mark 12:30-31 New International Version (NIV) 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (emphasis, mine)
Yeah, go read that again. What right do any of us have to judge others—-others on a show who are trying to be real, who love unconditionally and yearn to be understood. These men have bravely decided to live the way they feel they’ve been all along. Why should we all not feel that kind of freedom?! Regardless if we agree with it or not, they deserve respect and kindness. They certainly have mine and I’d tell them so if I could.
Of course this isn’t the first time many in this country have held a grudge with iron fists. Jane Fonda, an amazing actress who now professes her belief in Jesus, is still mocked, criticized and tormented for her actions during the Vietnam war. It’s incredibly sad. Yes, I said SAD. What is with Americans who judge harshly, failing to see that we’re all constantly changing, trying to figure out who we are in this complicated world? I wonder how those same individuals would feel if they were judged just as viciously for their own actions committed years ago? It’s tough taking logs out of our own eyes.
“While you judge me by my outward appearance I am silently doing the same to you, even though there’s a ninety-percent chance that in both cases our assumptions are wrong.” ― Richelle E. Goodrich
Sure, everyone is entitled to an opinion. But the line is crossed when one is aggressive and mean in how they express their thoughts. THEY ARE THOUGHTS. For all of you who enjoy expressing your views cruelly, perhaps you should leave some room for doubt –doubt that you could be incorrect or hasty in your accusations. For doubt is ultimately what pushes us to explore further in search of truth. Is there really anything wrong with that?
“Judge me and I will understand how you view yourself."Melody Lee
“Judge tenderly, if you must. There is usually a side you have not heard, a story you know nothing about, and a battle waged that you are not having to fight.” ― Traci Lea La Russa
Perhaps you should watch an episode of Queer Eye on Netflix. Whether it’s the episode where the guys rally together and help a burly Georgia man reconnect with his true love (and who comments at the end, “I’m shocked that I’m saying this, but I really love those guys. They’re just like you and me, they just want love and acceptance) or the countless hours the Queer Eye guys spent helping a Christian woman build a reception hall for her church, one can’t help but walk away and do a little introspection.
This author does just that after each and every episode. I wonder what this angry world would be like if we decided not to judge and simply love everyone for who they are. I’m not talking about criminals and ax murderers, of course. I’m simply referring to lawful citizens who choose to love and live in a way in which you may not understand. You may disagree with their politics, their choice of spouse, their way of life, etc. but that NEVER gives you a right to be vicious and hurtful. Never.
So the next time you’re surfing the web and looking for a new show to watch, perhaps you should check out the new Queer Eye on Netflix. Allow yourself to get to know Tan, Bobby, Karomo, Antoni and Jonathan. Who knows, perhaps you might learn a few things and treat everyone around you with a bit more compassion. And just like you felt when you watched Shark Tank, you just might observe the actions of these awesome human beings and ask yourself, “Hmm, why didn’t I think of that?”
Remember, It’s never to late to change. Your heart will thank you for it.
Peace and Love,