These days the word “snowflake” is being thrown around like candy on Halloween. Snowflake memes are being posted left and right, and hurtful, judging posts are dismissing snowflakes because of their very absurd, very public behavior.

It’s easy, from behind a computer, to judge and condemn what we don’t get. We can type things we would never say in person because they aren’t standing in front of us. This distance protects us from the real situation at hand. The real person at hand.

Often the frustration being expressed is that these “snowflakes” are emotionally intolerant. They are grown-ups behaving like children that did not get a cookie before dinner. They have become the very intolerance that they claim to hate. They are often rude, weak and unable to manage the smallest of offenses. Their behavior suggests that in the deepest part of their soul, they are victims. They carry out their victimhood in the most public, and often embarrassing sort of ways.

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Let me be transparent. I have, on more than one occasion, sighed loudly over the crass and childish behavior that has been reported. I have even judged them a time or two, without knowing the particulars of their story. After all, some of the behaviors being reported really are crazy. I quietly roll my eyes, turn the channel, and go about my merry way as if my judgment was justified.

Was it justified? In moments of clarity and when I am on my game, I see that it is not. I do not know their story. I am not God and cannot see past the fleeting words that were spoken on the evening news. Shame on me. Yes indeed, shame on me.

In the quiet of my prayer closet, God speaks to my heart and reminds me of this truth: Each one of these snowflakes is a precious child of God.

They are loved deeply, certainly by God, but also by their friends and family. They are human and they matter. They matter as much as you. They matter as much as me. They are loved because they are God’s, and were created in His very image. Precious, no matter what. It is easy to forget this when I am being self-righteous.

To love well in this journey of life, we must think bigger than the understanding of our minds. We only can judge based on what we perceive, and think we understand. Because of this, we will never judge well. We simply don’t have enough information.

The truth is, you and I do not know the journey of their soul. We have not walked next to them to understand how much of their behavior has been taught, caught, or perpetrated.

Were these same “snowflakes” victims of horrific childhood abuse? Perhaps they were raised by those who did not teach responsibility. Were they rescued and never learned to deal with a difficult circumstance? Maybe these individuals were emotionally neglected or raised by parents that just didn’t have a clue. Or, they were raised well but fell into crowds that created a victim think mentality that is hurting them.

The truth is, I don’t know, and to minimize through judgment, simplistic memes, and sarcastic humor does nobody good.

Especially me.

Never, has any broken part of society been healed because people threw stones from their pretty glass houses. Change happens when broken pieces are identified and altered through the force of truth, love, and compassion. To judge these people does nothing but make a wider chasm in our already divided nation. While I do agree that victimhood has become a national plague, throwing stones is not helping.

Victims need to be understood. They need someone to listen with an ear that hears with love. They need people to say “I hear you, and I understand that you are in pain.” Perhaps if people heard their hearts, leaving their eye-rolls at home, there could come a time of nurturing, of teaching, of helping and healing.

Even in the areas in which they are wrong, to judge from a self-righteous pedestal does no good. In the middle of listening, what happens is we come to a place of compassion. When we have compassion, perhaps we can work with, instead of against.

The truth is that even those with entirely differing views and opinions have the power to teach. When we listen, we both come out better. Enabling victimhood has never been the answer, but neither is judgment.

“Oh be careful little mouth what we say.” That simple childhood song may not express these exact words, but the meaning is close. Be careful what we say, see, hear, and do.

Dear America. Please, let us come together by listening and with love. Let us join with compassion and find solutions that work for all of us. Enabling woundedness and faulty thinking will only bring destruction. But judging without listening and care will do the same.

Healing is right there, just around the corner, when we put aside our pride and come together in love.

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