“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” ~Mother Teresa
How important is back story?
In fiction back story creates sympathy for an otherwise less likeable character.
We think it is necessary to know someone’s past to understand their present.
In reality is it necessary to know someone intimately in order to overlook their shortcomings? Is it pertinent to know why they did something in order to forgive them?
The lady who lives around the corner complains about everything. She annoys you to no end. You find out she lost her family in an accident years ago. Your heart softens.
A guy at work talks about his male companion. You have issues with his sexual preference so you exclude him from your conversations. You hear through the grapevine his father beat him when he was a child. You begin to feel sorry for him.
An acquaintance goes through men like you go through underwear. You call her despicable names behind her back and avoid contact with her. You hear she was molested as a child. Her life begins to make sense to you.
Someone embezzles from a charity organization. You are enraged. Then you hear he was downsized from his job. You excuse his behavior.
Your neighbor is always in everyone’s business. The soccer coach drinks too much. The room mom wears low-cut blouses. The math teacher picks on your kid. The car on the interstate cut you off. The teller at the bank was rude. The cashier at the supermarket ignored you. They all have stories. So do we. Is it necessary for each of us to know another’s’?
Must we excuse a behavior to accept a person? Or does it depend on the behavior/crime?
We are human. We have strong opinions and we use them to judge everything and everyone around us. If we sympathize with the person or situation, we allow a bit of slack. Otherwise we are downright harsh.
Is it law, society, or perhaps our own personal agendas, which determines the degree of wrong we place upon those we accuse?
If we have worn another’s shoes we humanize them, thus we show them compassion. If the circumstances are beyond our understanding we scorn those who empathize.
Our societal conditioning demands back story to comprehend. Our moral compass determines judgment. Our reaction deals the punishment.
Living in a civilized society does require us to follow moral and legal codes. It is necessary those be dealt with accordingly. I am referring here to how we allow our own opinions and emotions to rule our judgment, what and who it allows us to accept or refuse.
How difficult it is to forgive freely? How difficult it is to love unconditionally?
Ego demands back story while the heart simply loves. Today I will place my ego in the back seat and allow my heart to drive. Will you come along for the ride?