Who Judges You?
I listened to the judge ask the young woman who was about to be sentenced for theft due to a meth problem, “You do know this is your last chance to help yourself?” She was wearing a yellow jump suit provided by the county jail. Her lawyer was at her side watching her plead her case before the judge. She somberly answered the judge, “I know and I realize I need help with my drug problem. I can’t keep living this way…it’s going kill me. I have tried several programs but none of them have worked”.
The judge was very compassionate and understanding and told her that she has to be the one who takes control of her life and her actions. Then he reminded her, “This is your last chance! The next time you stand before me it’s a mandatory ten year sentence in prison.” Wow! Ten years! His startling statement made me think about my life and how thankful I was that I have never been in jail and never abused drugs. I’m sure this scenario plays out across this country every day. Not just in regard to drugs and drug abuse, but white-collar crime, murder, assault, and even divorce. I heard several different cases presented before this judge while I was there to support a friend who was going through difficult times. I witnessed many standing before the judge who had made some very poor choices in their lives.
Have any of you ever regretted some of the choices you have made? I sure have! And to this day I regret some very dumb things I have done. Looking back now, I realize that as a young man I said things that hurt people over the years. I was irresponsible in high school and college. But now as I get older I weigh my words carefully before ever uttering a sound. If we can control our words and actions, for the most part, we will stay out of trouble. Have I been tempted to let loose a few times? You bet I have! My dad used to say it’s better to catch flies with honey than vinegar. How do people judge you? Do they see a warm and caring person or a gruff, mean-spirited individual just looking for a verbal altercation? I see these folks all the time in my travels and it isn’t pretty. We’ve all seen them in the check-out lane at the local grocery store or the airport. Heck, you’ve probably even seen them in your church and service clubs you belong to.
I remember an older guy that frequented a small café back in my hometown in Wisconsin. He always sat alone looking grumpy and made faces at people who looked his way. He also had his favorite booth in the café and all the locals knew to avoid it! One day I watched a young couple with a small child sit in “his” booth before he arrived for breakfast. As he walked in and looked at the corner he saw that they had taken his seat. He wasn’t very happy about it but managed to get a booth near his favorite spot in the café. He looked very irritated as the waitress poured his coffee. Even though he expressed his aggravation under his breath the young couple heard what he had said. What happened next was amazing! Their little girl walked up to him and started to talk to him. He avoided looking at her at first but she was persistent in handing him a napkin from the table. He took the napkin as she continued to talk. He looked at her and said “Thank you” and a big smile came over his face. Then he asked her what her name was and seemed to enjoy conversing with her. This little girl had a way of looking beyond his grumpy demeanor and made him smile!
How do you think people view you? Are you open and kind or is your spirit ill-tempered? Can you look beyond a scowling face and still reach out with kindness like the little girl in my story did?
Do you feel you need to work on some personal issues like the ones mentioned above? Do people avoid you but you’re just not sure why? Do you have unresolved, personal conflict? If so, maybe it’s about time you resolve these issues before the holidays. Contact me and we can talk about ways to help you deal with these conflicts and help you find peace, joy and freedom!
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If you’d like to read past articles you can go to Mike’s blog at: https://applicablecoaching/blog/. Feel free to post your comments and/or questions.