We can be quick to notice the shortcomings of others, but the only person we have influence over is ourselves. Let’s be slow to judge people, offering them the same treatment we would like offered to us.

Judging others is a problem of the heart. If someone disagrees with you, it’s fine. Lashing out at others with insults, rudeness, even vitriol is never okay. When social media became a thing, what Andy Warhol (maybe) said many years ago became true: “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for fifteen minutes.” Let’s make sure our fifteen minutes is something edifying to the world, not something that makes it a harsher place.

In the 1980’s, President Reagan and House Speaker Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill had a fiery, contentious relationship. It has been said they could hardly stand each other. Yet the two political adversaries found a way to work together and placed the needs of our country above politics and party. Both men stayed true to their values, but found common ground from which they could work. Both men realized they needed each others willingness to cooperate to save the country from the worst recession since the Great Depression. Reagan and O’Neill were big enough to put aside their personal differences.

When Reagan was shot, O’Neill went to Reagan’s bedside where they prayed together. In 1986, O’Neill’s beloved Boston College decided to build a library in honor of the Speaker. A fundraising dinner was held at The Washington Hilton (where Reagan had been shot) and the keynote speaker for the event was…Ronald Reagan! Consider that for a moment – a popular Republican president speaking at a fundraiser for a political foe. Would that, could that happen today?

None of us is perfect. Rather than judging others too critically, let’s offer them some grace. Self-righteousness is a real turnoff, but kindness and compassion never go out of style. Be kind…


  • John Harrell

    Life is to be lived, not merely existed through.

    John Harrell manages a successful business, writes a daily inspirational blog, and regularly engages in public speaking. His audiences include corporations, trade associations, college students and incarcerated children - truly a “captive” audience. In 2018, Harrell published his first book, “Killing My Father Then Finding Him” which became a number-one bestseller the first day of publication on Amazon.   John is a fortunate survivor of childhood physical and emotional abuse. Because of his upbringing, Harrell is able to connect with struggling children, offering hope to kids in sometimes hopeless situations. Our futures are not limited by our circumstances. Everyone has the power to break the generational malady of abuse, and live a meaningful and full life.   Harrell serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Rachel’s Challenge, the largest program in the world which focuses on kindness and compassion. Named for Rachel Joy Scott, the first child killed at Columbine High School, Rachel’s Challenge transforms the lives of almost 2 million people per year in across the globe. John lives in Austin, Texas, and is the proud father of two sons.