Judge of Character

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

January 25th, 2012 • Living with Chronic PainPrint Print

When someone goes to the police to report a crime, and the police interrogate the victim like a criminal, or even go so far as to get violent with the victim, there are people who assume something is wrong with that victim. These kind of people start with the presupposition that police are good, that police are smart, that the justice system is pure. Rather than allowing for the possibility that this individual’s experience throws into question such assumptions, they cling to the assumptions and judge the world from that viewpoint – effectively adding insult to injury and causing additional suffering to the victim.

When someone goes to the doctor to get help for a condition, and the doctor treats that person as a hypochondriac and ridicules that person and dismisses that person with nothing more than a pat on the head or a prescription for Valium; and when said patient has the courage and self-respect to go to another doctor and another, and keeps getting the same treatment, there are people who assume something is wrong with that patient. These kind of people start with the presupposition that doctors are good, that doctors are smart, that the medical system is there to help and heal people. Rather than allowing for the possibility that this patient’s experience throws into question such assumptions, they cling to the assumptions and judge the world from that viewpoint – effectively adding insult to injury and causing additional suffering to the victim.

These kinds of people are the status quo. They think they are the smart people, but they are the dumb people. They think that because something never happened to them, then there is something is wrong with everyone it happened to. When in fact something is wrong with that thinking.

The intelligent approach to life is to be actively engaged in it. To witness, to evaluate, to question, to give the benefit of the doubt to the explorer – ie, the one on the battlefield, having an experience and reporting back.

When I share my life’s story with the world – the ups and, mostly, because I’m processing through it, the downs, I am doing a service to humanity. I am offering you information and insight. I am offering all of us another perspective. An inside lens into a world that maybe you haven’t stepped into. As I knew when I was a child, and as I said way back then, “Truth lies in the details.” Details come from people actively involved in the nitty-gritty of a situation. They come from the child who is in the abusive family and sees the intricate details of the fabric of that family system. They come from the person who is vulnerable and seeks help from others – those who are positioned to help such people.

I once read a quote that was fucking awesome:

When you have everything, you know what you are made of. When you have nothing, you know what your friends are made of.

There are a MILLION variables in life. None of us, praise be the Lord, are exact replicas of each other, no matter how similar we may seem. That is the genius of life. Just because you were able to rise above a situation does not mean that someone else can do it and that that person is an extra super deluxe flawed human being for not rising above. It means that you were graced with the intelligence or resources or timing or a host of other factors that enabled you to rise up.

The greatest judge of character, in my opinion, is not whether you can rise above the bad, or whether you never experienced bad at all. It’s whether you will offer someone in the dumps your love and offer your hand. It’s whether you will use your power, privilege, and intelligence to help someone else rise above the bad.



Comments

Joss January 27th, 2012

well said.

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