A judge of others should have sharp eyes, keen ears, an active imagination and be ready to improvise on the spot. The ideal candidate should possess the highest of moral standards and be willing to seek out and destroy immorality in others.
A judge of others must be willing to work alone. The position offers no pay, benefits or support staff. Personal advancement will be difficult. Being a judge of others is strictly a nonprofit endeavor. Dad, remind you of anyone?
Do you qualify for the job?
How many of us adults could apply for this position? Be honest. Sure, when you read the job description, it’s a put-off. But when you think about how we think and behave in many of our daily routines, perhaps we’re better suited for the job than we think.
Society is so diverse these days. We don’t talk much about our similarities as human beings, but we sure do hold up our differences. Whether it’s our educational level, belief system, ethnic background or economic status, we like to think that we have the upper hand—a position of superiority and privilege. We tend to put people down in order to elevate ourselves. We know the way to truth, the way to peace and prosperity, the way to happiness. It’s our way.
Blips on a ball
And yet there are seven billion of us on this blue ball in this vast … vastness. We’re blips in time, blinks of an eye. We make such a big deal about our differences, when, in fact, we are mostly alike. What separates us is our keen ability to stand in judgment of one another. It’s difficult to be the chosen ones when all of us are convinced that we are.
Maybe it’s too late for us grown-ups. But let’s try to pass on a new legacy to our kids. They will already inherit our debt, greed, polluted air and contaminated land. Is it possible that we could hand over acceptance and tolerance and a new nonjudgmental attitude?
Young people want to connect
A professor received a grant that will take him to the Middle East to study young people and how they are acquiring skills to use multimedia to promote better understanding between conflicting cultures, even to seek forgiveness and discover commonalities. He says adults have passed judgment on one another and are stuck in the quagmire of their prejudices. Young people, however, are utilizing the new media to connect, share stories and seek understanding. And to get involved.
Dad, the finest gift you can pass on to your teenager is an ability to drop the gavel and shed the heavy robes of judgment. It’s funny how the word “love” is the most used word in song, religious practice and every self-improvement seminar, and still, it’s the least practiced.
Tom Tozer and Bill Black are authors of “Dads2Dads: Tools for Raising Teenagers.” Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @dads2dadsllc. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.