Mom Shaming and the Rush to Judge

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you.
— 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Can we all agree to mind our business in 2018?

I'm tired of hearing about all the new kinds of "shaming". There is fat shaming, mom shaming, slut shaming, red-headed ginger shaming, people with ugly dogs shaming, etc. etc. It isn't that I am unconcerned about the way people are treated and needlessly judged. It's the exact opposite. 

In every article or rant I've read on these topics, one major point seems to be overlooked. Consistently. If everyone would mind their own business, shaming and all of its variations would disappear. 

It still confuses me how people feel so entitled to such strong opinions about the choices other people make for themselves. How does that work exactly? What right do I have to an opinion about choices and consequences that have absolutely nothing to do with me?

 Social media certainly influences this behavior. Often, people are incredibly angry about the choices of total strangers (whose lives they are observing online), and they feel like everyone on Facebook needs to know just how angry they are about it. Everyone's lives are public these days. Its like we live in a fishbowl society, and we can't help but engage with what we see. The photos from your kids birthday party are posted on Instagram and you want so badly for everyone to "like" the photo.

The downside of sharing so much, is that everyone feels like they are entitled to an opinion about everything. Facebook literally gave us all that right with the like, love, angry, sad emoji button thing.   But here is the problem: engagement is what businesses crave when utilizing social media. They measure and monitor how people interact with their content and adjust to get the most clicks and responses. But for us regular people, we don't want clicks. Likes are nice, they may boost our egos temporarily. However, what we really desire is acceptance, connection, and community. Unfortunately in this day of liking and trolling, that is difficult to achieve.  

Earlier this year, a video went viral of a young man named Jacob Copeland.  His mother was sitting beside him with a red University of Alabama hoodie looking calm, proud and supportive. When Jacob announced that he planned to attend Florida State, his mother's energy shifted. She grabbed her pocketbook, quietly stood up, and walked off the stage.

Of course, the internets were very angry at her. They are all very upset with her for abandoning her son.

I'm not even interested in analyzing what she did and if it is ok. Because really, my opinion doesn't matter. This may seem rude, but yours doesn't either! Sharing our opinions on her choice will do nothing other than make us feel awesome because we believe that we have chosen the "right" side.

My one soapbox to stand on is this: the energy we put into critiquing everyone else's life would be better spent evaluating ourselves and how we can be better. So instead of saying "wow, that lady is a terrible mom", consider what kind of parent you are.  Focus on your plank before worrying about her speck of dust. Say a prayer for her.  Wish her peace and growth. Keep it moving.

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
— Matthew 7:3