They Don’t Know You

The other day, someone was asking me why I don’t get butt hurt when people talk about me. In case you didn’t know, I march to the beat of my own drum most of the time and I try to drown out criticism as much as possible. It’s not that I don’t listen to people. It’s more like most of the time, I just don’t hear them…

Today I’d like to talk briefly today about why criticism really doesn’t matter to me, nor should it to you. First of all, the thing I think about is how so many people that are successful today, were criticized in the beginning.  Let me explain this with a quick example from my favorite sports team, the Patriots.

Now whether you’re a fan or not, you have to respect the fact that they are the winningest team in this century. Why? Well, it helps to have a guy by the name of Tom Brady at the helm…and I could mention deflating a few balls while spying on other teams’ plays might have played a role, but it’s bigger than that. You see, they are a very secretive team and they use that to their advantage. 

People say bad stuff about them all the time. Say they’re cheaters, they don’t like the coach, think the quarterback is too arrogant, they’ve won too much. This is more or less, a matter of opinion and everyone knows, opinions are like belly buttons. Everyone has one. More importantly, however, is the fact that nobody really knows about them because most of their practices are held in secret, they never report which players are injured (Their star quarterback was out for a whole year with 3 torn ligaments and they always reported him as probable to return) so nobody ever really knows what’s going on with them.

Same with your life. People may judge you, talk bad about you and say you’re this or you’re that, but at the end of the day, they have NO CONTEXT on your life. Nobody really knows what’s going on in your head. Nobody understands your upbringing or what you’ve been through. So why would you even give them a shred of creditability to judge you? 

Look, at the end of the day, if whatever you’re doing is with good intention, it shouldn’t matter what other people think. I mean outside of breaking the law, what you’re doing or how you’re living your life is really nobody’s business anyway. So the next time you’re afraid to start working out because you’re afraid of what people’ll think or you’re not sure if someone will like something that you enjoy doing, just remember they don’t know you.

Jerry “knows me” Washington

P.S. This is not a new concept. I remember I used to be made fun of all the time when I was a really young kid because I was the only black kid in my pre-k class. I was made fun of even more when I was in  kindergarten because I was the only kid that could read (thanks for that mom), but one thing my mom always said was don’t worry about what other people think because just as long as you’re not hurting anyone and you believe that what you’re doing is good, you’ll be okay (again, thanks for that mom)…Talk soon!

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