Note to self: We cannot totally eliminate our past mistakes, simply by deleting them from a social media page. They will come back to haunt us. They may be used against us. They may force us to dwell on them. They can consume us or we can learn from them and pray confidently that God will forgive us.
If one is to enter any occupation that puts them under public scrutiny, they must be prepared for criticism – questioning, the recollection of past mistakes – the foolishness of a childhood prank – or an innocent action which can be totally misinterpreted in todays politically correct world.
As a performer, I’ve played a variety of roles. I’ve had to make myself up to look old – younger – a specific race, such as Asian or Spanish. Each of those required changing the color of my skin, the shape of my eyes, the color of my hair and the voice that came out of my mouth. During each of those portrayals, I was not making fun of, nor being condescending to anyone. I was creating a character for a specific part in a play.
When I was in high school, I dressed as one of our professors. There’s a picture of me in the yearbook, dressed as a man. I wonder if that photo could be used to accuse me of being homosexual or wanting to change my gender. Who knows what a simple photograph in a year book can do to a person’s reputation.
Political correctness has its place. We definitely should treat each other with dignity and respect. We should care about all people. We shouldn’t make judgments (someone else has that in His hands.) We should reach out to those in need. We should not make fun of one another or slander a good name with untruths or past mistakes. When we as a people put ourselves in a place of superiority over others, we’re opening ourselves up for similar scrutiny.
When we’re young, we often make mistakes. It’s part of the growing up process from which we will hopefully learn and alter our present and future accordingly. Today, however, everything is out there in cyber space or in a cloud somewhere. Everyone can pull a picture from your Facebook page or Instagram and use it against you in some way. It makes me wonder if there are people out there who do nothing but look for these kind of photos and sell them to the highest bidder.
Where am I going with this? Truthfully, we must be careful in everything we do. We’re all human and we’re all sinful. We fall victim to an embarrassment, a foolish act, something that we regret being involved in. Usually we learn from those mistakes and move on. Unfortunately, with all that’s available on the internet, everyone can become a victim.
How many people will think twice about entering public office. In fact, do we have the cream of the crop in the House and Senate? Of course not. We all make mistakes. Usually those mistakes lead to change and a lesson learned, but even that is no longer possible because of repercussions which could occur from one single photograph.
We are a nation of extremes. We fight to save the whales and eagles, yet we condone the death of unborn human beings. We strive to protect our environment, yet we use disposable everything, which continues to accumulate in the city dump, We say we’re unified, but we find so much wrong with each other that there is no unity whatsoever.
We cannot become victims of the past. The only way we will ever grow is to learn from our mistakes and move forward.
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”