When I Am Wrong

We all make mistakes, we all do things wrong. No one is perfect nor will they ever be. However, it seems that it is much easier to believe and act like everyone else commits wrongful or sinful acts but we are much purer. Some believe that there is a gradient of wrongful acts where some are much worse than other acts. But, this is no the truth. As well, many people prefer to castigate others for obvious and acts of ill-conceived behavior when, in fact, these very same people commit much worse acts but have escaped visual recognition of these behaviors. Still, other people acknowledge that they have done things that they regret but elevate other people's behaviors to be much worse than their own.

What is also observed is that prejudice towards other types of people runs rampant just because they may come from a different background or ethnicity where their transgressions are used as a means to paint every related type of person as being the same therefore as bad as the person who did wrong. What is even more devastating are those types of people who love to lord it over other people who have been exposed as transgressors never letting them forget that they have committed a certain act. This is even more damaging to the person who transgressed when they have not only acknowledged their wrongful behavior but have been punished or made amends. This is the same as saying that it doesn't matter if the person has been exposed and punished because I do not believe they have suffered enough.

One of the best examples of unforgiving attitudes, or, in other words, agreeing that the slate has been wiped clean, pertains to people who have been incarcerated for a crime yet are still labeled as criminals years later upon their release to the community. This labeling is visible through the actions of others where the former criminal continues to be stigmatized and often prevented from entering many types of employment or other social activities.

To be able to hide one's own transgressions does not make a person any better than any other person, and gives that person the right to hold onto negative actions towards another. Let this poem by Strickland Gillilan be a prayer for when we do wrong and when others do wrong. What we need more of in this world is the encouragement to do and be better and less behavior that demonstrates that another can ever be forgiven.

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When I Am Wrong
by Strickland Gillilan


When I am wrong, Lord, courage me to own it;
To say, "Forgive me for the wrong I did."
Drive out the wild desire to condone it
And keep the grievous fault within me hid.
Yet while I honestly admit my sin,
Keep off the friend who likes to rub it in!

When I have erred, Lord, teach me to admit it;
To clear all others of suspicion's taint;
To own and bear the punishment to fit it
The wrong in me, nor feel the least restraint.
Yet while I'd bear the pains my sinnings win,
Keep from my clutches him who'd rub it in!

Lord, all my rank transgressions I would own;
All my profuse shortcomings I'd admit;
I'd shout them out in any sort of tone
To keep some innocent from being "it."
But here my rebel promptings would begin
I cannot love the folks who'd rub it in!


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