Our flaws do not make us evil, bad, unworthy or less than; our flaws only indicate our humanity.
The human experience is complex and filled with highs and lows, good days and bad days, joy and pain, sunshine and rain. Some days we feel like we can take on the world and conquer whatever comes our way, and others, we feel overwhelmed and outmatched by the world.
It has always fascinated me how some of us want to be judged based on our intent while judging others based on their actions. If we are wronged or hurt by a person, we often want them to pay for what they have done by suffering the consequences of their actions. If we happen to wrong or hurt someone, we feel we should be understood rather than punished; how hypocritical we can sometimes be.
That said, we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves when we make mistakes or struggle with weaknesses and proclivities. We’ve already proven that, as human beings, we are far from perfect. And what has to be understood is that perfection is an elusive target that is constantly moving. So rather than striving for perfection, we should work to be present while trying to do our best.
We should apologize when appropriate, but remember it is inappropriate to allow others to put us down and jettison us as unrighteous and evil for our flaws.
We can use our flaws to help us grow and keep us humble, knowing that we are no better than anyone else. We often find ourselves trying to present a flawless image so that others will embrace us and buy into what we’re selling. The reality is that anyone who appears to be perfect and without blemish can be dangerous, as they are inauthentic, which makes them unsustainable. Certainly, we don’t need to announce each of our personal battles to the world, but we shouldn’t deny their existence, either.
The mistake that many of us make is being too harsh and judgmental. When we do that, we’re projecting who we really are—because our negative perceptions are, in fact, a reflection of ourselves. In the public square, we often despise and fight the very thing we are in the privacy of our hearts and homes; we believe if we can kill it outside, it will die on the inside. This is self-deception and self-destructive.
Answer the call and be human. Be present in the moment, the situation and the environment as you try to win the day. If you’re wrong, apologize quickly; if you’re right, say nothing and leave the judging to God!
Kirk Ray Smith is the president and CEO of Hope Villages of America, formerly RCS Pinellas.