Living in Central America for 8 Weeks: “Crazy,” “Stupid,” “Selfish,” and other Judgments (Part V)

When I decided to commute to a job 360 miles away, my cousin was like “Kathy, that’s 360 miles away. Are you crazy?”

I did it anyway. When I decided to quit the same job, another family member offered unsolicited advice about why I was leaving. In her opinion, the reasons I’d shared didn’t warrant resigning.

That’s when I realized everyone will always have a judgment about who you are and what you’re doing, so it’s best that you get grounded, know what you value, and then live by that compass.

I’ve already explained how much I value freedom. It took me a long time to consistently live by that value, and just when I became solid in my understanding of who I am and how I want to move in the world, COVID-19 plagued the globe.

So, while cooped up at home, I began Corona Chronicles to process what I was observing. “You’re Stupid!” was about judging others because they’re not doing what you want them to do. When I wrote it, it was common to spew venom at and about those who refused to wear a mask or shelter at home.

As the year wore on, I recognized people’s opinions about how to act during a pandemic were shaded in nuance.

Pixabay vector

For example, my cousin had a backyard wedding at the end of 2020. Dwight and I showed up masked, but by the end of it, we were barefaced and hugging people. Months later, the same cousin traveled to bury her grandmother. I guess someone said something to her about it, because later, she ranted on social media about how she’d never fly during a pandemic just for a vacation, deeming her flight for a funeral as a necessary pandemic trip.

We can justify anything, while judging everyone else, right?

This year, it seems we’ve switched to calling friends and family stupid, selfish…and maybe even crazy if they don’t get vaccinated, and depending on the news channel you watch, the same terms apply for people who do get vaccinated. Instead of suspending judgments, we seem to be increasing them, with global health or government manipulations as justification.

What does this have to do with us living in Central America for eight weeks? Well, I’ve thought at length about if I need to share my health choices. Do I need to passively reveal my vaccination status? Do I need to explicitly display the results of my COVID-19 tests? Do I need to qualify or refute CDC guidelines?

I’ve decided the answer is no. I stopped proving myself to others years ago, and I’m not about to start back now. Plus, it doesn’t matter. Someone out there is gonna think we’re crazy, stupid, or selfish no matter how I frame it.



35 thoughts on “Living in Central America for 8 Weeks: “Crazy,” “Stupid,” “Selfish,” and other Judgments (Part V)

  1. Your post expressed how I feel exactly! I am beyond tired of how people are so quick to judge and to criticize anyone who doesn’t agree with them. It was bad before, but the pandemic took it to a whole new, and horrifying, level. We don’t have to justify out actions to others, or or our opinions, or our thoughts. They’re ours, and we are allowed to have them. I love that you’ve figured this out, as I’m still working on it….getting there for sure, but still working on it!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. At the expense of sounding like the people I’ve just criticized lol…people are absolutely nutz. I often wonder if someone just read back the things they’ve posted or said out loud, if they could hear the hypocrisy and vitriol.

      Like

  2. Your insight is spot on. Years ago, I learned that in order to have a relationship with my mother – who disagreed with everything I did – I had to recognize her comments as reflections on her own life. Her criticism of my working status, my failure to make sure my husband was constantly looked after, and the pursuit of my own interests, were all things she never permitted herself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. V.J., that is one of the most poignant pieces of commentary about human beings. I think it’s one of the 4 agreements…I think it’s take nothing personal, because nothing anyone says is about you; it’s about themselves and who they are.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I learned it from my first teenager, who came home from school raging and setting everyone on edge. My instinct was to rage back, but when I took a step back, I realized we had no stake in this fire and told her so. She broke down and revealed that kids at school had been pressuring her to do things she didn’t want to do. Lesson stuck.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. When me and my husband were in Chicago, someone stole our luggage which made us leave a day early cause I don’t have time for the madness. But before we left, I visited a cousin of mine, and we laughed about it after venting about it. I said something like, “I love my city, but I ain’t been here 24hrs…” and words, words. We laughed again, and my cousin said I should post it. “And tag me in it too cuz,” she texted me later. I laughed and sent a crying laughing emoji back, but I knew I wouldn’t post it, and there wasn’t any particular reason for not posting other than I didn’t want to. Didn’t feel like it. I might talk about it later in a blog post, but I didn’t want to at that moment.

    Long story short, I learned I don’t have to explain my choices or do something because others think I should. I am still learning not to over explain things, but I think I’m getting better at it and posts like this are encouraging. 🤗

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Right. We all have to realize we have nothing to prove to one another. You posting or not posting has nothing to do with her, and her asking you to (and to tag her in it) has nothing to do with you.

      But wait, what? Your luggage was stolen???

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The hypocrisy that has been shown is astounding. People want to hear their opinions out if other peoples mouths. Now, I realize that I totally judge others, but we all know I am the only one allowed to do that. My favorite thing now are the people who screamed Fauci is a god and we should all listen to him because we need to follow the science and now they’re criticizing him and science because they don’t agree with his ideas…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Katherin, this was such a relevant topic to mention. It’s more than just about judgement. It’s about rude and boorish behavior – like childish name calling, taunting, and derogatory put-downs.
    Well, call me crazy – but I would say that “the one we won’t name” set a great example of this. When it’s displayed at the top the way it was, I think it gave many people a license to let their worst behaviors fly!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I agree Judy. I hate to get all political, buuuut…oftentimes, I’d wonder how people thought he who won’t be named was a great leader. Usually a leader is someone you respect and would want your children to be like. Nothing that person did was something I’d want my kids to aspire to do or be.

      At the same time, I think it affected more than some of his followers; I think it gave a lot of people license to spew awful things to one another, no matter what the topic.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Thank you for this!! There was something off-putting about the well-intentioned demonstrative COVID safety precautions / judgments of others amongst my friends and family and I couldn’t quite put my finger on why I hated this so much, and I think you managed to articulate it here. You’re spot-on about how anyone will justify anything to themselves.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Everyone judges people at some point even when we think we’re not doing it. It’s a terrible quality of human beings but it has gotten much worse.

    This right here . . .

    “I’ve decided the answer is no. I stopped proving myself to others years ago, and I’m not about to start back now. Plus, it doesn’t matter. Someone out there is gonna think we’re crazy, stupid, or selfish no matter how I frame it.”

    I love it!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, I totally agree trE! I used to be the worst of the worst. I think it’s when we get stuck on the judgment and then begin the name calling…like, it’s okay to wonder why someone’s doing something, but it’s not okay to then call them a name or act as if they have some sort of mental problem because they’re not doing what you’d do. The beauty of life is we all manifest differently ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m right there with you, Kathy. This post is a keeper, and this line is one to remember: “That’s when I realized everyone will always have a judgment about who you are and what you’re doing, so it’s best that you get grounded, know what you value, and then live by that compass.”

    Liked by 4 people

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