So as someone who came within just a few hours of death — according to the doctors who got to deal with my severely dehydrated organs-shutting-down, “Gee, your kidneys have stopped working” and “There’s an ominous shadow on your lungs” and “You may have some heart issues” self — I can say this:
I am in no position to judge anyone.
As I lay dying — DYING, people, in the the desert and even in the hospital — I wasn’t worried about whether my gay friends were ruining the whole stupid romanticized and fictionalized Biblical concept of marriage. I didn’t concern myself with how legalized marijuana might totally corrupt our country.
I didn’t ponder the circumstances under which abortion should or shouldn’t be allowed.
Because really? It doesn’t matter what other people do or what they believe. It’s none of my or your business. God loves all of us. And because he loves us — AS WE ARE — he doesn’t expect us to judge our fellow human beings or to render “punishment” as we see fit.
We are all human. We are not God. We have NO RIGHT to judge ANYONE for what they do or what they believe. Period.
When I was out there, in the desert, I thought only about how I had lived. How I had loved. Whether or not I had been a good person.
Because, really? That’s all that matters.
Have you loved people for who they are, regardless of what you or they believe? Have you tried to help people, regardless of what you or they believe?
Are you kind? ARE. YOU. KIND?
Are you NICE to people?
Really, that’s all it comes down to. You can read the Bible from Genesis to the very, very end and the ONLY THING THAT MATTERS is whether you were a kind and good and non-judgmental person.
When I was sprawled out there, under that mesquite tree, I didn’t worry about anything but this:
Was I a kind and loving person? Did I use my talents for the better good?
That’s it, ya’ll. That’s what it comes down to.
What. Did. I. Do. To. Make. The. World. A. Better. Place.
Your hate, your condemnation, your ugliness? It means nothing. It’s not scoring you extra “Heaven” points. Sorry to disappoint. You just come across as an asshole. That’s all.
If you look at your friends and colleagues and strangers on the street with judging eyes and a judging heart — well, guess what?! YOU ARE NOT GOD. You don’t get to decide who is good or bad. You’re just an average, run-of-the-mill, sinful human being.
Sorry. But it’s true.
One day, when you find yourself facing your own mortality, you will realize that. And it may or may not be too late to rectify your thinking and your hateful, horrid actions.
We are asked to do one thing: Love one another. That’s all. We don’t have to point fingers. Or judge. Or tell everyone else what they’re doing wrong.
Because when you lay alone in the desert, and you realize that you are probably going to die, and you look at God and hear God and understand God — you totally understand that YOU ARE NOT GOD.
So get over yourself. Be kind.
5 thoughts on “Dying? What matters most? Really.”
Well said! It’s more than a little depressing that there are so many out there who seem to feel they are the final arbiter of what everyone can and cannot do, when if they’d open their eyes to the truth, they’d be so much happier. We’re responsible for ourselves and those we love, and that’s plenty. What other people do, good or bad, isn’t in our control, but if we do good, it can feed more good. Don’t want karma to be a bitch? Do good; she’s only a bitch to those who deserve it.
I wish more people thought that way.
If they spent half as much time doing good for others as they do ‘finger-pointing’, wouldn’t the world be a happier, more peaceful place?
Yes! The world would be a better place if we were all focused on kindness and doing good.
I was very moved by this heartfelt essay. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and I hope it can only help to encourage other people to be non-judgmental. Very inspirational!
Perfect! Well said!