On more than one occasion, I have been accused of thinking I'm better than everyone else. When this happens, my immediate reaction is guilt. If more than one person feels this way, there has to be some truth to it, right?! Once I think & re-think about it, my next reaction is to be incredulous. Have you met me?! I never think anything I do is good enough. I would barely classify myself as mediocre, and even that's pushing it! Give me a few seconds and I can give you a long list of areas where I fall short. Once I've beaten myself down a few pegs, my final thought is "consider the source". The people who have accused me of being holier than thou are always people who make a lot of really bad decisions and typically are not of the highest moral fiber. The accusation is usually immediately following a situation where they are held accountable for their actions or I have called them out for something and they are looking for anything they can to not only justify their behavior/choices but to say something hurtful in retaliation.
I admit I have a tendency to be quite judge-y, but when it comes down to it, I'm a very open-minded and accepting person. Which isn't to say that I don't spout off some very judgmental things. (I'm sure I've mentioned at least once before that I was born w/out that filter between my brain & my mouth.) However, I have been known to eat my words when I'm proven wrong and after the initial bite wears off, I'm happy when someone can put me in my place. I learn from it & they feel better. It's a win-win situation!
I bring all this up b/c I recently had the displeasure of calling someone very close to me out for their destructive lifestyle. I would have just written them off completely were it not for the fact that children are involved. I agonized over this particular situation for almost a full month before finally butting in. I weighed the pros and cons, looked at it from several perspectives, and talked at length w/ my husband until the choice was obvious. It was time to speak up. That decision has had the expected repercussions and I'm coming to accept them for what they are. But another part of me has to wonder why I feel the need to jump into something when everyone else turns a blind eye to it? Does that make me brave or stupid?
The clincher for me is ALWAYS kids being involved. I flash back to my youth. The fear, hopelessness, helplessness and anger are as fresh as they were 20-25 years ago. That is what motivates me to step in b/c nobody ever stepped in for me. People who knew what was happening would later tell me that they felt like it wasn't there business or they didn't want to get involved. My question is: if you don't step in, who will? The answer is nobody. And so I find myself smack dab in the middle of it, trying my best to advocate for a child who isn't mine as if saving them will save young Trish. I think the biggest push is the desire not to become what I despise. And I guess if that makes me "holier than thou" then I'll just have to learn to accept that label. Because it seems less unfavorable to be a goody-two-shoes than being too self-involved to do what's right.