People vs Their Actions

judgeImagine the world if no one ever paid the consequences for their actions. It would be much different than it is now. Thankfully, we have a judicial system that people must face when they commit a crime.

The judge and the jury decide if the person is innocent or guilty of the accusations that have been brought against them. That decision then determines whether the person will pay the consequences or they will be set free.

It is the actions of the person that got them in the predicament in the first place. Poor decisions do not necessarily make a person ‘bad’. Good people make poor decisions all the time. Perhaps the person behind the crime was one who had never even stolen a piece of gum, but they found themselves in a sticky situation and made a mistake. Does that mistake change who that person is? I don’t believe so.

We all make mistakes. No one is free from that. I know I’ve made plenty, but regardless of the mistakes I’ve made, I’m still me. There’s other times, where I don’t feel that what I’ve done is a mistake at all, but others do. Does that make them see me differently? I would hope not.

I don’t agree with everything people do. Some things are completely beyond my understanding. Sometimes I discuss these topics on this blog, and readers may think that I’m being judgmental. I am, but it is their actions that I judge, not the person.

To make this clearer, I’ll use children as an example, because many of us have one and everyone was one. Children make mistakes all the time. For example, my son thought it was funny to balance a nail between the pavement and the back tire of our car one day. His action could have caused severe consequences if not caught on time. Thankfully it was, and nothing came of it.

Did my son’s actions cause me to think any less of him? No, absolutely not. He simply made a bad choice. We may not like what are children do, but we don’t think less of them because of it (at least we shouldn’t), and we certainly don’t stop loving them.

If judges never judged the actions of people, the world would be much more chaotic than it already is. The same goes for us. We must also judge between what we feel is right and wrong. If we don’t stand up for what we believe is right, then nothing would ever change.

For example, slavery. It was wrong, so people took a stand. Because of them, in 1865 slavery was abolished. Had people not stood up for what was right, we would likely still have slavery today. Were the slavery owners evil people? No, that’s just what they knew. It was what most of them had grown up with. It was a mistake, yes, but it doesn’t make them bad people.

In my life, I’ve known drug dealers, thieves, gangsters, ex-convicts and current convicts. Many of them, I still know today and talk to frequently. Each of them made poor decisions that led them to a lifestyle that I disagree with. However, do those lifestyles make them bad people? No, not at all. In fact, they’re all very kind and loving.

We may not agree with what people do. We certainly won’t always understand why people make the choices they make. Because of that, we naturally judge their actions; not them. As someone mentioned yesterday, “Until we walk a mile in someone’s shoes, we have no right to judge them.” I completely agree with that statement.

No person should ever be judged. Their actions on the other hand, often times should be. That is for our own safety and to make necessary changes in the world.

It’s all about what we judge. Do we judge the action or the person behind it? If you’re a bank robber, I probably won’t go to the bank with you, but I will have coffee with you later.

A person’s poor choices do not change who they are. As I write this, I think of several of my family members who have done things that I completely disagree with. However, I still love them just the same. I still know who they are on the inside.

A person’s mistakes don’t define who they are.

If I ever come off as if I’m judging a person, that is not my intention. My intention is to look more closely at the actions and choices of others (including my own) that I disagree with. We all disagree with something and we all have the right to stand up for it. Not to judge the person…but the action. There is a difference.

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13 Responses to People vs Their Actions

  1. I love this. Every single word and I totally agree. Sometimes we have to judge the behavior but it does not mean we love the person any less. I hear you completely on this one.


  2. I use to say, that people are not crazy, but maybe they behave in a crazy way 🙂 I agree.


  3. Doobster418 says:

    One of the first things I learned as a manager…and possibly the most valuable…involved how to counsel an employee related to job performance issues. The advice: be critical of the act, not of the person.


  4. suzjones says:

    For every action there is a consequence. That’s just the way it is.
    And every person creates actions every day. It is the nature of humanity. But I agree that there are some wonderful people out there who make bad choices.


  5. April says:

    Okay…I’m going to be sarcastic here…I love the people who judge a person based upon their political affiliation. Ha! They are all good people with different ideas. As far as people doing bad things but are still good people, I have a family member who falls into this category. He paid his dues, but is the most kind person, and would do anything for anybody. His action which got him into trouble was quite appalling as it was against another person, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why he decided it was an acceptable choice. Anyway… is the action, not the person. Good point!


    • mewhoami says:

      Well, when it comes to political affiliation that’s different. haha. Your family member is a good example of this. He made bad choices, but that doesn’t define who he is. It’s wonderful that you can see past his errors and see him for who he really is. I would imagine that many people don’t give him that chance.


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