We hear it a lot: "Don't judge." A lot of us go through daily life thinking that judging is bad - when in reality, we all do it. All day, every single day. When you get dressed in the morning, you judge the weather and decide what to wear. When you drive to work, you make judgements every few seconds to be safe on the road. While at work, you judge your co-worker's bragging about giving her 3-month-old Diet Coke to help with colic. I always knew she was nuts.
My point is, judging is not this horrible, mean experience. At least, it shouldn't be. We all have a right to make decisions - judgments - based on what we believe and know to be true.
We do not, however, have any right to do so in an unkind, mean, or unloving way.
This month, a young teen from my area in WNY committed suicide due to bullying from kids at his school. This boy was gay, open about it, and took a lot of heat from his peers because of it. Actually, let me rephrase: not heat - more like hate. Your view and opinion on homosexuality is irrelevant. Whether you think it's right or wrong makes no difference in how you should treat a homosexual.
I'm Catholic, and my Faith demands that we treat homosexuals like we would anyone else - with complete love. It doesn't get any clearer than that. The only way to deal with people - with any kind of people - is with love. I get really, really upset when I hear or see people make faces, jokes, or lower their voice to say derogatory things about the gay community. Not because I particularly have some special connection to them, but because such behavior goes completely against our obligations to them - and that's the simple act of love.
We wouldn't think it's okay if someone talked badly of a disabled, special needs person. We're all human beings, and whether you like it or not, God loves each of us equally. And if HE does, then we have no excuse to do otherwise.
It is appalling to me that bullies are tolerated in our day and age. Kids can't even stand up for themselves out of fear of being the ones punished. Bullies start behaving that way at a very young age. And it is NOT okay. Parents need to pay more attention to their children and how they treat others. Manipulative, dominating, arrogant, and nasty behavior are all signs. Parents must make it their responsibility to teach their own kids that being mean to any group or any child is not acceptable. Children cannot treat each other like doormats. Nasty children should be nipped at the bud and given strict consequences when they're mean to others. My kids will never step foot in a school unless things change.
I think it's revolting that even after the young teen from WNY died, the bullying still continued. Messages like, "You're better off dead" were still sent his way.
Seriously? People mourned the death of Osama Bin Laden, saying we should never rejoice over one's death. Yet kids these days are heartless enough to continue their hate even after the boy kills himself?
We should all speak up more than we do. Who cares if you irritate someone by telling them that they're being mean or rude -- or even that their child is? Better a hurt ego than a broken child. Or a dead one. Bullying has to stop.