When people bring up my past, I freely talk about it, but when people throw my past in my face, I cringe inside. I destroyed the old me; I am nearly the diametric opposite of who I once was and for the better might I add. I openly talk about my past because I want to educate others on its pitfalls, as a warning, and as a means to defeat who I once was, but I am not that person anymore. There is nothing that could drag me back into the darkness I once dwelt in, nor do I care to talk with those who would lord my past over me as some sort of tool or weapon. I am not my past, my past is not who I am… period.
I make it a point to not judge others, not on their past, their looks, their race, their clothing, or anything else… period, because that’s a part of who I am today. I would not want others judging me, therefore I do not judge them, as in the Pirke Avot of the Talmud, Hillel states; “Don’t judge your fellow human being until you have reached that person’s place.” Also Leviticus in the Torah states;
“…do not favor the poor or show deference to the rich; judge your neighbor fairly…You shall not hate your kinsman in your heart. Reprove your neighbor, but incur no guilt against your kinsfolk. Love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 19:16-17)
Only when you haven’t made bad choices in your life, haven’t hurt others, and haven’t don’t wrong, should you be able to cast judgment on others… that’s VERY few people. I give everyone the benefit of the doubt for who they are now, and nothing superficial will sway me from seeing their humanity, their heart, and G-D within them. I have known many people whom others were afraid of because of external appearances, but they were so kind and caring; I have also known people utterly heartless and devoid of love whom everyone looked up to. The old adage “don’t judge a book by its cover,” often comes to mind when I hear others judging someone they don’t know.
In fact, those who judge others by their outward appearance, say more about the one casting judgment, than it does about those being judged!
Everyone has something within their past that they wish they didn’t do or could change, so someone’s past is just that, the past, and should be left there if it isn’t for a positive reason.