Before judging someone for something they did, just remember that people are just going on in their own lives: just like you are.

Binge-watching series and movies in the past few months has been one of my motivations to write. I am sure you have seen a lot of references in my previous articles. This is because, apart from helping me pass time, they have also made me think about aspects of life that I ignored or simply didn’t give much thought about.

My past understanding or let’s say belief made me think that each plot in life, just like the movies has to have the heroes i.e. the good guys and the villains i.e. the bad guys.

The good guys would always win and punish the bad ones because they did everything the right way. Their ways would be to abide by the law and take morally correct decisions and hence they were the good ones. The villains on the other hand always caused trouble.

So, I’ve pretty much grown up hating the villains, haven’t we all? I mean who even liked the stepsisters of Cinderella or Voldemort or Joffrey or Ravan.

I am sure the portrayal of these characters and the plot had a lot to do with the development of such feelings. But is that the only case?

We do know that the Beast in The Beauty and The Beast was a vain prince and thus he was turned into such a scary creature. But at the end, we still rooted for him. We do know that what The Professor and his team on Money Heist have done and are doing is illegal but we still root for them.

Yet again, it’s the portrayal and the plot that makes us feel what we feel about a character. Despite so, we are rational beings with a conscience. We know when something is wrong. I mean, would you be okay if you were the one being bullied for your looks or it was your house someone was robbing? My answer is definitely no.

Even then, with the full knowledge about how these characters are and what they do, we still support them. So why is it that such knowledge doesn’t cloud our judgment regarding them and doesn’t make us hate them?

According to me, it is most probably because we have known their part of the story or have seen them evolve to become a better person.

Well, these are just fictional characters and they don’t care whether you like them or not until you watch them. But the people you surround yourself in real life actually care about your judgment. And no, they shouldn’t care but it’s human nature. Sometimes, one cannot resist but think about what others think about them.

You might feel like some people may have wronged you or betrayed your trust. They may have left you hanging. They might have acted selfishly. They may have disregarded your feelings. There may be numerous other deeds they did that might have shattered your feelings or your trust or your work or even destroyed your life. Or, it may be the other way around. After all, you only get to live your part of the story.

While reading this, some of you might even have some people popping into your mind. Even the thought of it might have angered you or made you regret trusting them. But how many times have we thought about their part of the story? How many times have we tried to understand why the person at the other end did what they did? How many times have we defended ourselves in front of our own conscience?

One of the characters in one of the series I watched said this and I quote, “There are no such things as good guys or bad guys. There are just people going about their lives.”

This made me think, isn’t that always the case? We might have unintentionally or intentionally hurt someone and the others might have done the same to us. We all do what we have to do in the light of what’s good for our individual self. At the end, we are just trying to live the best we know or can. Why doesn’t it feel bad to put yourself above others? Likewise, why is it so unforgivable for others to do the same?

Life doesn’t come with a guide. No one knows what they are actually doing or want to do. They just go on with their lives. Because, like Mac Miller said, people change and things go wrong but just remember: life goes on.  

My point is that we need to stop being so judgmental about ourselves and others. Everyone’s just doing what they think is the best or the easiest at that point or situation in their lives. There’s always going to be some opportunity cost but what’s the point of having regrets or anger for yourself later in life? The only thing they do is that they drain you.

So, you do you. Learn from it, enjoy it, and then go on with life because the world will keep turning whether you feel like it or not. Because this is life and here, you do you and the other people will do themselves.