I used to find it easy to judge people. By judge, I mean I would weigh their worth. Sum them up with a word. Asshole. Idiot. Jerk. Crook. Thief. Thug. As I practice more, I find I can do this less.
This doesn't mean I don't see the same behavior I saw before. I do. I know when someone is cheating me and I get angry about it just like anyone else. I'm not a fucking saint. I just mean that I can't DISMISS someone for it. I end up wondering what its like to be them, what happened to them that makes them the way they are. I start to see how it could happen that they ended up that way.
I can get angry when someone is an asshat. I just can't STAY angry.
Yesterday, Marion Barry died. He was the truly shitty mayor of Washington, DC. 4 TIMES. He is famous for his "the bitch set me up" line, uttered when he was caught with both crack and a woman not his wife, in a hotel room. He was a crook, a dishonest politician, a philanderer, a drug addict. But he was also reputedly a loyal friend. He worked his way up, from a boy picking cotton to a man with a masters degree in chemistry, from a tiny town in the South, to a civil rights activist, to mayor of a large city. No one is all bad, or all good.
I said as much in a FB posting and was astounded at the angry reaction. Because he was a bad man, who abused his power, most folks thought he should be written off. He was a crooked politician, and that was the sum of it.
I used to feel the same way. Sometimes I wonder if it's a bad thing that I don't anymore.