segunda-feira, 14 de janeiro de 2013

Saints and Sinners

“Every man is worth more than his mistakes”. I read this quote and thought on writing about the ones who make mistakes, but not with that eye which praises the attempt of discovering or doing it right. I also do not intend to analyze crimes or other terrible deeds.

I want to talk about the other side of mistakes, about those people with no qualification or designation for the function, who put themselves  in the place of judges, criticize and decide what is morally correct or not. They take into consideration their own truths, what they have learned or convenience at the moment to condemn the alleged error on the other. They find themselves owners of the truth, saints, pure, honest, but they do not always do what they say nor recognize their own mistakes.

Imagine a woman who, in the beginning of the XX Century, dared to get divorced, doing what many others secretly wished for. Some fearless women had even secretly planned their deaths, or even the death of their husbands, as a solution to their unhappy marriages. Why was this divorced woman segregated form society as if she had any contagious disease? What was her crime? Who judged and condemned this woman? I dare to say her executioners were her neighbors, relatives and friends.

Our Jewish-Christian education teaches we sin by thoughts or deeds. The single desire of breaking marriage up, a divorce idea or murder and suicidal thoughts are sins in themselves and create guilt, even though nothing has ever happened. If any other person had the courage of committing that “sin” I had imagined I just blame it on this person and let social conventions finish work.  Making mistakes is a human condition, blaming it on others is even more.

I am not judging this kind of people. They also have the right of making mistakes and are worth more than them. In the book “One Thousand and One Nights” there is a passage saying that God placed judges on earth to just judge appearances. As he made ​​intentions and feelings invisible to mankind he is the only one to judge them, having exclusivity in this process.

All of us have the genetic potential of lying, cheating, stealing and sinning. There is a constant battle between morality and hypocrisy, love and lust, cruelty and compassion, modesty and arrogance, honesty and lie, prejudice and tolerance. From an evolutionary point of view, the best human mind can do is try to balance to survive environment and context temptations. Our behavior is the product of these conflicting forces in our minds, and it fails as well is subject to pitfalls, capable of much contradiction and all sorts of tricks. Who of us has not loved wrong, hated wrong, judged wrong?

The word character comes from Greek and refers to the indestructible marks imprinted on coins to identify them. The character would be the currency we use to judge people and decide who is good, who is worthwhile, who deserves, who will be spared. The person who one day was labeled as a bad character can do many good things and we will hardly change our minds. How about the opposite, would a single failure give us the moral right to tarnish the character of a person forever? How often do we confuse courage with moral failure or error? History is full of martyrs condemned only because they dared. The simple fact of thinking differently from majority had already isolated thousands of people in asylums.

Right and wrong are just different ways of understanding our relationship with others. Saints and sinners are separated by a fine line. Who are we to define this transition?

The world has changed, we are in the XXI Century and feelings, instead of morality, sustain or discard most relationships. People do not have to get married to live together and don’t also have to stay married when love ends. Many couples, even loving each other, separate. Some of these get back together after some time. It is best not judge. When it comes to love, logic is not always considered. It is very complicate do judge feelings. Is the couple happy? Did they hurt anyone? Then turn on the music and the dance follows.

Judgment and justice are completely different situations. The world needs more love and less judgment. The one who judges others has no time to love them. I hope soon will come the day when we will have a life so full of love that trials and tribunals, as we know them today, will become completely unnecessary. After all, many took the form of sinners for others become saints, however, "some rise by sin and some by virtue fall" - William Shakespeare

Versão para o inglês - Claudia Marques

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