Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Image from Interwebs
Do we ever ask ourselves if we are judging other people a little too harshly?  Do we ever look at the words escaping our mouths or our keyboards and think... Yikes.  I need to take a look at how I'm reacting to everyone around me?

 This has been on my mind for a hot minute, as I am working on watching what comes out of my own mouth and keyboard.  It's easy to judge and condemn everyone around us.  But what are we doing to ourselves in the interim? 

Here's a quick definition of Judgment!

 Let's be real.  We ALL judge other people.  Even those of us who gasp and exclaim:  "No I DON'T! I just have opinions!"  Our opinions are formed from having a reaction--good or otherwise--to the information being presented to us.  After we get the information, we form an opinion which is often linked to some form of judgment.   

There's a difference, though, between judging and condemning another human being.  

Image from site: wholeheartedmen.
The minute we decide to be Artists, we are opening ourselves up to certain types of support and certain types of judgment.
We see a painting we like and can stare at it for hours.  We see a movie we love and we watch it a zillion times.  The converse is also true.  We can blast through a museum that's not our flavor of 'like' and we can get up during a movie and do something else instead of watch.  
I remember, in college, there was a girl whose parents supported her and paid for everything up until the SECOND she decided to declare her degree in Theatre with an emphasis in Wardrobe/Costumes.  They cut her off immediately, telling her it was impractical and they couldn't support her decision for that degree.  Well.  In spite of that huge roadblock, that girl got her degree and is currently supporting herself by building costumes for THEATRE.  Had she allowed someone else to dictate her life, she might not have followed her artistic dreams.
Image from the Interwebs
Also, in college, a friend of mine ROCKED IT in a play on the main stage.  There was a reviewer from the local newspaper in the audience.  For whatever reason, the reviewer wrote a scathing review of my friend's performance and published it in the newspaper.  The reviewer had every right to share his thoughts (even though we all strongly disagreed about WHAT he wrote!) and my friend fell victim to believing the reviewers words for a few months.  And then my friend got up, graduated college and had a very amazing run as a Stand-Up Comedian in New York for several years.
As most of you know, I am a vegetarian.  I haven't eaten anything that walks, flies or swims for a super long time.  I have a friend I've known since dirt hit the earth and is now into Taxidermy.  WHOA, right?!?!  Of course, it hits my ick button and I wanted to judge him right away.  Instead, I toured his workspace and he shared his passion for wanting to honor the passed animal by preserving
Nobody can resist a screaming carrot.
it's essence inside the art he creates.  How the hell could I judge him after THAT?!!?   Most of who he's preserved are animals who died by getting hit by cars.  He found his art in a non-conventional, yet just as poetic way as all the rest of us.  Fast forward to a moment where he was in an art show and he displayed a preserved bobcat-turned into an art piece by setting the bobcat up in a way that gave him action in walking and surrounded him with indigenous plants and such.  A woman, eating cheese and salami and wearing a leather jacket made from a slaughtered cow, jumped down his throat for cruelty to animals and belittled him in front of everyone.  He made a comment that she had a nice leather jacket on.  And then he won the People's Choice Award for that exhibit.
Image from the Interwebs
How about another friend of mine?  He'd just shot a role in a HUGE studio Feature Film.  Someone asked him what he does for a living and he responded: "I am an Actor."  The other guy snorted and said "Yeah, but what do you DO for a living??"  My friend's response didn't change.  What else was he supposed to say?  He makes a living as an Actor.  Period.  


Like most humans, I've been cyber bullied by strangers and have had more than my share of naysayers. Nobody is immune to being on the receiving end.
Thank you, Intrerwebs!
 Our attackers are usually the loneliest and most angry people the world has to offer.  Their own lives haven't gone according to their plans or dreams.  They might be fellow Artists who have a bone to pick with someone they view as doing better than them.  Their lives are drenched in a certain type of fear and I have a lot of compassion for their mental plight. 
Soooooooooooooooooo.  Which voice do we listen to the most?

The voices who judge and condemn us for being Artists and following our goals and dreams?

The voices who support and love us for being Artists and following our goals and dreams?

I choose to listen to all the voices.  (Yep, there's a joke of voices in my head to be made here!)  

I need to find where this is and visit!
Seriously, though.  If we only listen to how great people think we are, we are limiting our growth.  For every dig, every harsh word we get thrown at us, for every ugly moment, we have the opportunity to grow a garden planted in our faith that we are on track.  

 Don't forget:  Nobody knows what our journey has entailed but US.  And when we harshly attack and condemn another person based on our skewed vision of them, we don't know what THEIR journey has entailed.  
Food for thought.  
(And by food for thought, I mean vegan avocado soup or something!) 


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