A few weeks ago, a coworker said something that I found quite profound. He said “we’re all judged by the worst examples of us.”
Wow. How true.
Think of the most recent example in the news, with the compound that was raided in Texas. This sect of the Mormon church is not a true example of the church as a whole. In fact, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints essentially claims, according to information I was provided this week, that any group that breaks off after Joseph Smith’s death is not a part of the true “Mormon” church. These people who are in the compound are truly a cult, I believe, and are abusing their children, if not sexually most definitely emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
Another prime example also comes from Christendom. People accuse Christians of being hypocrites because they know some people who claim to be believers who obviously don’t follow God. Such an example would be those who bomb abortion clinics or that hate-monger group Westboro Baptist Church, which likes to picket funerals and say that deaths of children are just because it’s God punishing the community for its sins. What a load of crap–yet people who aren’t Christians seem to think these types of people represent the lot of us.
I think those of us in the media also fall victim to this truth. Most of us just try to do our jobs, including being fair and accurate. But those who make mistakes on accident or those who flat out have an agenda or fabricate their stories have created a stereotype that we all must be compared against. It’s so frustrating to be treated like I’m one of those “types” but then I also have to understand that people just don’t get it. They are judging me based on the worst of my profession, just like our society teaches them to do.
So how do we stop doing this? I don’t know if it’s possible. Society would say that education is the key but I think our steps in eradicating racism and hate crimes proves that’s a load of crap. Education doesn’t change what’s in a person’s heart, after all.
So how do we go from being judged by the worst of us to being judged by our best examples. Or even better, each person judged by his or her own merit?