Michael Battalio

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Act of Judging

I am sitting in Mass Media Wednesday afternoon, and I begin to daydream. (Nothing against the teacher. He's interesting, but intrinsically, the class material is boring.) For whatever reason, I start reminiscing on high school. And inevitably I recall how much of a perfectionist I was. Not grade wise (I'm still a perfectionist in that right now.) but of me being a perfectionist as far as being the goodie goodie. Me being who I am and being a goodie goodie and being self aware enough to know that, I always felt morally superior to everyone else. If you ever randomly come across one of the 40 people I graduated with, ask them. They'll agree I'm sure. I felt this way when I entered college as well. I was alone for the most part my freshman year, and looking around at everyone having fun only elevated my moral high ground. (This will just be fodder for everyone, but actually when I was in high school I seriously entertained the idea of entering seminary. It had a lot more to do with being lonely than feeling morally superior though.) I think I'm getting off track, allow me to make my point. It is this, making mistakes has made me a better person morally. Allow me to clarify. Being a self-righteous, obtuse fool always made me judgmental, horribly judgmental, towards all the people whom I thought I was better than, which, for the great majority of that part of life, was everyone. I would always go out of my way to find what it was they did that I found to be a transgression. I would then latch onto that, and I would be able to figuratively stand on their shoulders and preach to them. Whenever I saw someone, I spent a lot of time doing that in my mind. It consumed my small social life. However since then, I have faltered and made some mistakes myself, some obvious things, but in my mind it's the not so obvious things that pulled me away from my podium. Going into all of that is a bit more private of a conversation than I'm willing to talk about here, but suffice to say having been there, I feel no less human, and I understand where it is everyone is coming from now. They aren't any less of a moral being than I am now or was or will be. For humanity, the moral playground is level, no one is taller than anyone else. It was wrong for me to judge everyone, and it hurt me more than it did anyone else. Now that I'm walking on the same ground everyone else is, I don't spend time judging others, and I think that makes me a better person than being able to say I haven't made any mistakes myself. So even if the mistakes were transgressions in and of themselves, those mistakes have stopped what in my mind is the greatest transgression, playing God. And to me that is a fair trade off.

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