Why do people feel the need to judge each other? Why are some people so sure that they are right and the way they choose to live is the only correct way? Who appointed them both judge and jury in deciding what is right for other people?
Times have changed a lot over the past half century. There used to be only two genders, a marriage was between a man and a woman, if you were born male, you stayed male (and vice versa), there was no public cross dressing or transgender, most people who were gay were not comfortable exposing themselves, etc.
Here we are in 2018 and things are quite different. We have come a long way in expressing ourselves and embracing differences between people. Although many people have evolved and accepted our differences, there are still many people who fear what they cannot understand.
A friend of mine is very happily married, but as I have discovered, is quite different from most people I know. Although she and her husband are swingers, we do not play with them. They prefer to have a more intimate relationship with the people they swing with. They also do not call it swinging or playing, but refer to it as “making love”. Right there, we were out.
Recently this couple traveled to Europe on vacation and met a woman named Cici. As my friend describes it, “There was this instant attraction between Cici and Mark (her husband). I could feel the chemistry between them. We were simply enjoying some afternoon coffee and Cici was in the coffee shop. There were no available tables so we asked if we could join her. We spent the next 2 hours sipping coffee listening to her describe the city and the places she insisted we visit. We exchanged phone numbers and made plans to have dinner with her that evening at a restaurant near her home.”
My friend goes on to describe her joy at watching her husband fall in love with this woman while overseas. I was imagining that what happened in Italy, stayed in Italy, but I was wrong. Cici has been in regular touch with her husband and is planning to move here to be closer to Mark. They have also spoken about having a baby together.
To be honest, my first reaction was utter shock and disbelief. What?! Your husband has fallen in love with another woman, she is moving here to be closer to him and they are already talking about having a child together? And, you are so happy for them. What am I missing? Where do you fit into this picture? She assured me that this would be a perfect addition to their marriage and to their family.
This was when it occurred to me: times have changed and so have people. It might not be something that would work for me, but it works for them. It’s really no different from my friends who are not swingers trying to understand how I can be happy for my husband when he enjoys having sex with another woman. One friend told me that no matter how hard she tries, she cannot understand how this is possible. We are so programmed to believe that there is only one right way of doing things, that when someone is living a life that is at odds with what we have always thought was ‘right’, we take notice, and often, pass judgement.
When men and women first started to be openly gay and lesbian, it was very hard for some to imagine how they could prefer their own sex as a life partner. After all, we were raised to believe men and women were meant to share lives together, not two men or 2 women. If we look at the gay community today, they have proven everyone wrong. Although it is not right for everyone, clearly it works for them.
The thought of people physically changing their gender would have been impossible to believe decades ago, yet it has become common enough that it is no longer newsworthy. The state of Delaware has been considering allowing children as young as age 5 to choose their own race and gender without parental consent. Although it does not seem to be a particularly popular decision, it might not be long before other states follow their lead.
We discovered that the state of New York now recognizes 31 genders and gay marriage is now legal in all 50 states here in the US.
Looking at all of the changes we have seen, you would think people have discovered that just because it is not right for them, it does not give them the right to judge others. However, it seems this is still not the case. Many people are still admonishing those who choose to forge their own path and follow their own ideals. Some folks are still not ready to accept the LGBT community, swingers, polygamists or any other group or lifestyle that does not conform to their own beliefs. Even those who are living alternative lifestyles can be quick to judge people who are different from themselves.
What do we gain by deciding what is right for others? When will people be free to live a life that is right for them without fear of admonishment by others?
Hopefully with all of the changes we have seen in the past fifty years, people will continue to evolve both spiritually and mentally. We are on the right path but we still have a long way to go.