One of my favorite children’s stories is You Are Special by Max Lucado. It tells the story of the Wemmicks, a group of small wooden people who spend their days sticking gold stars or gray dots on one another, indicating their admiration or disdain of one other. The main character, Punchinello, receives only gray dots, no matter how tireless his efforts to achieve otherwise.
My heart goes out to Punchinello. I’ve been him.
Even worse- I’ve handed out my share my share of gray dots. As much as I long to toss in a rationalization for this that will allow me admission of this inner ugliness in the name of honesty without affecting my likability factor, I won’t.
Judging others. That’s what it boils down to. It’s a conditioning we pick up somewhere along the journey and run with. But it’s my belief that it can be UN-learned it if we try.
We’re not running around with a bucket of dots and stars.
We’re not made of wood.
But we like, dislike, thumbs up, thumbs down, share, retweet, glorify, ignore, unfriend, or sometimes just flat out decide to cancel others because they’re not “good” enough. They’ve done wrong. They’ve said things they shouldn’t. They’ve behaved erratically. They’ve made mistakes.
They’ve been human.
An imperfect human making mistakes and then thinking they can just be forgiven and accepted into the fold once again after they attempt to make amends and learn from their mistakes and GO FORWARD FROM THERE.
I make a lot of mistakes. I require a lot of forgiveness. Truth be told, I can be somewhat of a f*ck-up at times. But I like to think of it in a good way. The way that doesn’t mind other f*ck-ups. In fact, I welcome them. If I’ve said this once, I’ve said it a thousand times: I never give up on someone who’s TRYING.
That’s what keeps me from giving up on me.
You know what happens when we stop sticking dots and stars on others? Dots and stars no longer stick on us. And we’re free to just BE.
I like the thought of not giving up on people who keep trying—especially if that someone is us. It makes the grind just that tiny bit more bearable. Anyway, thanks for this post!
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Thank you Stuart. I agree! Especially in the dark periods that feel like a grind, we need unconditional belief in ourselves and others more than ever. It’s a scarce commodity.