At the fork of failure and redemption

You know what I hate? People who have an agenda based on their past failings. People who have fucked up, big time or small time, and who have sought redemption. I have no issue with the seeking of redemption itself. None. It’s the idea that others should follow suit, that because you have reached a certainty about how redemption works, all others should automatically listen to you, take your counsel, and handle their lives the same way.

I’ve known two women, both fundamentalist Christians (not that I find anything wrong with that specifically), who have made it their respective life’s work to stop people from making the same mistakes they did. One used drugs, one got pregnant too young. Now, I commend these women for turning their lives around. They both have wonderful, enviable marriages, and three kids apiece. But they are the sort to correct you where they see you failing. They will outright insult your choices, your beliefs, if they deem them wrong. And if you are wandering down the wrong path in life? I suspect they’d be running ahead, felling trees to stop your progress.

That makes me so angry. Ironically, I’ve stuck close by to the right path, the one that’s smooth and paved in some places. I’ve made the so-called correct choices, aligned myself with friends who are supportive, cut out loved ones who threatened me, and generally tried to live up to what my mom would have wanted for me. Still, I’ve been called out and disrespected by these women, for my beliefs, sometimes knowingly, sometimes not. And here, I’ve arrived at a fork in the road. Up ahead is a really gnarly detour, so dark but also beautiful. And I want it. But I sure as hell don’t want anyone following me and trying to pull me back.

I say you may know a thing or two about fucking up. You may have found redemption. Good for you! But you’ve got to let others make their own mistakes in life. Making your own mistakes, fucking up, and finding your own redemption is the only real way to experience life and gain maturity. Perhaps a relationship between the redemptionist and the fuck-upper is impossible. So be it. But my objective self wants to recommend a level of mutual respect for each other. That’s a lot more productive than interference or avoidance. What do you say?

2 comments

  1. Mark says:

    We all learn more from our own successes or failures than we would ever gain from someone preaching their view of an outcome. But just like being a parent, or a boss, or a teacher, it’s hard to watch someone else make what you perceive as a mistake without trying to at least guide them to the right answer.

    Perhaps your readers would like a glimpse of your fork?

  2. Jenna says:

    Hmm…I don’t think I really have any readers yet, other than you…