Why is it every time I travel to see my doctor I find myself in conversation with the taxi driver defending the position of people who can no longer defend themselves? I have to wonder if this is something God is trying to bring to my attention in a certain area of my life. I won’t ignore it.
As I am riding home minding my own business, falling asleep in the back seat, the driver starts the conversation about the latest news story, the sad double-suicide of Kansas City Chief football player Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend Kassandra Perkins.
He was listening to the radio when the announcer made a statement that Mr. Belcher was a “bad guy.” The driver seconded the notion and said he definitely was a bad guy for committing such a cruel act.
He went on to say, “This guy had a career as a professional football player, money many of us couldn’t dream of having, and a beautiful girlfriend.” “He had it all. He was good until this happened.”
Now that he has killed himself and his girlfriend, he’s a bad guy. He said, “He was a coward because he killed not only himself but his girlfriend too. He was bad.”
Then, while I am not sure why, he proposed this assumption: “Maybe once he shot his girlfriend, he realized he would go to jail where he would spend the rest of his life so he turned the gun on himself.”
Me: Silence. You could hear a pin drop. Really didn’t want to say anything because for one, I didn’t want to speculate because we don’t know his reason for doing what he did or the process he chose which led up to the event. Two, does it really matter why he did it? Three, is it any of our business? I couldn’t give an answer yet.
”With my eyes closed, drowsy and a bit delirious, I said to myself, “Oh no. Here we go again.” My first thought was, “I’m too tired to engage in conversation with this man” but when he seconded the announcers’ statement categorizing this person as a “bad guy” without knowing anything about him. As well as stereotyping as society tend to do just because he was considered some famous person with money, I couldn’t help but offer my opinion. I listened before responding so as not to impose any judgment but be clear in my position on the matter.
I told him I didn’t think it was fair to call him a “bad guy” just because he committed a senseless act. I made it clear that we should not be quick to judge people just because they do something awful or stereotype just because we think we know what their life is like based on society’s preconceived notions.
We don’t know what kind of person he was since none of us knew him personally. Nor do we know what could have caused him to commit such an act.
We don’t know what he was going through, where his mind was at the time of this occurrence, or what he was struggling with that may have caused his mind to convince him to follow through.
To draw a conclusion about someone based on an act, in my opinion, is unfair. And sadly, this is the way of our world. We judge, condemn, criticize, and hate others based on color, appearance, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and by their actions. That in itself is cruel. This is what I believe.
Money and career don’t make a person as society would have us believe. Just because he was a professional football player doesn’t mean he didn’t have financial troubles, had mental struggles, or suffered in some area of his life. Just because he had a career doesn’t mean he had lots of money. Just because he had a beautiful girlfriend doesn’t mean he had it all.
He was human just like us. And I’m sure as a human, he had problems just as we do, if not deeper than most of us may experience. There could have been some deep-rooted problem of hopelessness, worthlessness, clinical depression, pain, or sadness. We will never know.
But what I do know based on my experience is when individuals are in such a state, irrational thoughts cloud their judgment and the mind becomes an easy target.
Delusions, hallucinations, and the likes exist and in some cases are hard to distinguish from reality. Some people are strong enough to fight against the voices, others not so strong which lead to acts such as this.
Fame and fortune isn’t easy. Nor is it everything. It comes at a price. One cannot live a normal life. Money doesn’t buy happiness. One cannot be completely satisfied or content with the idea of constantly spending and getting what they want, getting nothing in return. Love doesn’t really conquer all with humans. Unless it is genuine, true love as God loves.
In concluding my conversation with this guy, my last statement to him was this, “I believe in God. I don’t think it is ever fair to judge a person because of what they do even if it isn’t right but we must leave it up to God. He will place judgment.” There was silence the rest of the ride until I reached my final destination. All was well that ended well.
My final thought. We can never know what others are going through. We must not condemn based on a notion. But instead pray for the family, friends, and society in general that peace and healing is found. Pray for strength. Pray for discernment. Pray.
As humans, we all will become discouraged at some point in our lives. The Bible has many Biblical characters that experienced discouragement and prayed to die. But they chose not to follow through. Instead, they remained obedient to God, sought his help, trusted Him, and relied on Him for deliverance. God provided them with a solution; just as he is able to do for us.
1 Corinthians 10:13 NKJV “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
Take these simple words of advice. Don’t be condescending but learn to have compassion. There are people hurting. A small gesture can save a life. Don’t be judgmental but leave it up to God. Your opinion matters and can be expressed in the right way as long as it doesn’t offend or hurt others. Acknowledge in love. Don’t take matters into your own hands but trust in the power of God that he will provide a way out. God is your source. He is a present help. Trust him.
Matthew 7:1-2 “Judge not, that you be not judge. For with judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. http://bible.us/Matt7.1-2.NKJV