“If you dig deep enough, you’re going to find that everyone’s a sinner.”
This about the fact people are imperfect, rarely 100% good, and the fact we all may be a sinner but still good.
** note: I am not using sinner in a religious framed way.
I agree with Logan (who was a character on Veronica Mars) that if you work hard enough you will find something bad, dubious, possibly unethical, in everyone’s past or even present. But you know what? It doesn’t really have to do with ‘sinning’ or being a sinner. It is just that we all have flaws. Just to be clear. It is most likely if you dig deep enough you will also find everyone is basically the same and we all have hopes & dreams & insecurities. That said. If we accept the fact everyone is a sinner, our past is flawed in some way in which the standard human being would judge it is ‘guilty of something’ then you have to accept the fact no one is innocent.
“No one is innocent … Life is more about how you bear the guilt.”
No one is innocent.
That means every one of us sinners carry some burden of ‘not innocent’. This seems relevant as:
- more and more people in today’s world are meticulously rummaging through other people’s pasts to find moments in which they were ‘guilty’ of something
- more and more people in today’s society appear to investing a lot of energy suggesting they are guilty of little, if not anything
Well. That is kind of bullshit. No one is innocent. We are all guilty of small, medium and even some large things. Therefore. It within that last sentence of the quote in which resides the larger Life thought.
Your life can be defined by how you bear that guilt.
It is the larger Life thought because “defined by” is actually “choices”. All the choices we make everyday in the little and the small as well as in how we judge ourselves, and our actions, and other’s actions. So we make all of these choices, one by one, dozens & hundreds over time, all the while accumulating some aspects of non-innocence.’ From that point on it becomes how we define it:
Do you ignore it?
Do you make excuses?
Do you deny it?
Do you worry about it?
Do you keep it secret?
Do you use it to motivate?
These are questions that reside within each of us <whether we elect to admit that they exist or not>. These are the questions that define how people bear the guilt.
The one that is probably most important?
Do you even recognize you are not innocent?
I think in today’s world where we seem to rush to blame people and judge them guilty of something <often justly> we tend to push our own lack of innocence, in whatever degree it may exist, into some dusty corner of our mind. But I also believe there is an even more dangerous thing many people do and that is justifying their own past behavior & actions as ‘not so bad’ which is basically assuming, well, innocence.
What that means is, I imagine, there are many more people who don’t even know they are ‘not innocent’ of something than there are those who bear the guilt. I imagine this because bearing some guilt is a burden. A burden not just as a weight, but it also can bear some emotional erosion aspects if you are not careful.
While those who bear the guilt can sometimes be eaten away from the inside as they think about it, I would suggest there are many more minds being eroded by the unseen, unrecognized & unaccepted shadow of guilt which dogs each step one takes.
This comes to Life in a variety of ways.
It erodes in a way that when shit happens to them <because the guilt actually affects their behavior in some seemingly small ways> they scratch their head and wonder why.
Some of these people think fate is against them.
Many of these people think Life isn’t fair.
Many of these people never look at themselves, or to themselves, as the issue … just everything else.
Many of these people just look at others as ones who should be guilty <“I never did anything that bad”>.
All of that is sad to me. Mostly because people’s burden of guilt is most likely something manageable if the person would only take the time to face it — face the guilt and eliminate that weightless, but diminishing, shadow following them and choose to carry it instead. I honestly do not know if people ignore their ‘lack of innocence’ or place their sin in a third person way <region does this> because they don’t like the thought of it or they don’t know how to explain it or maybe its simple embarrassment or it could even be they DO see the burden and do not want to accept it.
We all have guilt for something. None of us are innocent. The something could be big or it could be very small. But that is the funny thing about ‘not innocent’ — its size doesn’t matter.
Normal laws of space & weight do not apply to ‘not innocent’. A sliver of ‘not innocent’ can bear the same weight as a mountain of ‘not innocent’.
We should all take a moment, every day in fact, and remind ourselves, especially before we jump to judging others, that if you ignore the degrees & dimensions of the guilty — none of us are innocent.
But, most importantly, once you accept no one is innocent <self included> what truly matters is how one chooses to bear that weight.
“Learn to be what you are, and learn to resign with good grace all that you are not.”
Henry Frederick Emile
In the end. One of the hardest things in the world for anyone is to embrace their flaws, their sin. Each of us ‘are not’ a lot of things. Recognizing those things is actually pretty easy. We notice them all the time. I guess the difficult part is accepting them. and resigning yourself to ‘not being something’ with grace. Being able to do that is a full measure of one’s character. And maybe that is what ‘being a sinner’ or ‘no one is innocent’ is all about – character. To accept our flaws means to accept some burden possibly demands character. I do wish more people would accept we are all not innocent and begin judging people more on how they carry they bear the guilt of their sin.