The other day I was criticizing the bad behavior of someone, and a guy I know accused me of “judging,” as in, “who was I to judge anyone, considering that I’m in prison for committing murder?”
I’ve thought a lot about this issue, and first, my criticism of something wrong is not in the sense that “I’m better than you, so I’m judging you.” And it’s not hypocrisy, because I committed my crime over 18 years ago and have sense learned how terrible it was; hypocrisy would be if I were still doing bad things and judging them in others. And of course, ordinary judgement is not bad; everyone does it everyday. You judge when you choose a babysitter for your kid, or when you decide how much to trust a friend, for example.
In response, I asked the guy: “How can I consider myself to be rehabilitated if I can’t recognize the difference between right and wrong, and speak out against the wrong?” I don’t know if I can. That’s part of being a moral person, I think, the ability to do that.
And further, I think the very fact of my crime and all the years spent in here gives me an insider’s perspective on this. I should speak out about this matter if for no other reason than maybe my message can reach someone who might have the horrible mindset I had when I committed my crime.