I'm really trying to wrap my head around the fact that it's no longer okay to tell people what you think about the choices that they're making. Now, before people get in an uproar, let me explain myself.
I see people ruining their lives every single day. They make stupid decisions that cause mayhem and destruction, and it breaks my heart. I know that I'm not supposed to be this "savior" or person who talks them out of making stupid decisions, but I just can't be okay with watching people I care about make really poor decisions and never saying a word about it.
Now, I'm not talking about just voicing my opinion about how "stupid" it is (which I know that I've done way too many times, and I deeply regret those times of selfishness). What I'm talking about is truly talking to the person and saying, in love, that what they're doing is destructive and harmful to their lives and might be leading to trouble down the road.
I know that there's a balance between saying something and pestering the person and even condemning them. This is something that I have struggled with my entire life, and have unfortunately destroyed a couple friendships because of it (and again, it's something I deeply regret). I tend to come on a "little" strong when I voice my thoughts on an issue (Which I'm sure none of you have EVER noticed that... ha.). However, I really and truly believe that I would be doing that person an injustice if I didn't say anything at all - then, if they choose not to listen, then that's exactly what it is: their choice. There's no more "what if's": What if I had said something? What if I had stepped in? Those things are all gone, because I have done my part for something that I say I care about.
But here's what I've been seeing become a trend: we look at those we love and choose not to say anything because we think it's their "happiness" that matters. Well, as long as they're happy, I'm not going to say anything. Well, she's happy doing that with her life.
....Seriously? What does happiness matter, anyway? Is that the point of life? Now, I'm not saying that we shouldn't be happy, but what I'm asking is, Should happiness be our end goal? Why is it SO important for everyone to be "happy"?
Maybe I'm completely off here, but I just can't sit by and watch people destroy their lives, all for the sake of happiness. It just doesn't logically compute with me. I absolutely hate the fact that it's not okay to say anything negative about the way people live their lives. Again, I understand that there's a difference between judgment and warnings (a line which I unfortunately cross all too often), but I honestly would rather be in my position (saying something too often) than not saying anything at all.
Because... who knows? Maybe God can use something I said - even if I completely screwed it up - to soften someone's heart to hear the truth later down the road. But here's what I do know - if I don't say anything at all and just turn a blind eye to the way people live their lives, then I know that I will not make an impact (sorry, de Rosset) at all. How can I honestly say that I love the people in my life if I'm not willing to look them in the eyes (or write them a sincere note on facebook...seriously) and tell them when I think they're screwing up their lives?
Maybe I'm totally wrong, maybe I'm a totally judgmental jerk, and maybe I'm mean and cruel and..... etc.... but this is one thing that I feel absolutely and completely passionate about, and I'm not backing down. I may screw things up and say totally stupid things sometimes, but I would much, much rather say something than nothing at all. Because... in my mind... it means I actually care about the person. Even if they don't see it that way at the time.
Go ahead, hate me. Think that I'm a complete jerk who just wants to get her opinion and her point across. That's fine. I know that some things I say and believe are pretty polarizing and get people angry. I've had that happen my entire life. But seeing people I care about screw up their lives breaks my heart way too much to just stand by and not say anything at all - especially when no one else will speak up for them. I want to speak up for the person. I want to speak up for the greater good - not the momentary happiness.
Alright, I'll step down from my soapbox now.
'Til next time.
PS - I also realize that there is a time and a place for everything to be said, and it shouldn't be in the form of "You're screwing up your life" (unless you absolutely know the person you're talking to can handle that). It should be well-thought out and IN LOVE. That's the biggest thing. If it's not in love.... then it shouldn't be done.