New Castle News

November 5, 2013

Kali Davies-Anderson: Fact is, we’re all one bad decision away from trouble

Kali Davies-Anderson
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Lisa Madras is a fellow blogger for the New Castle News who writes each Monday morning.

Yesterday morning she wrote that someone with a name similar to hers was in the news for doing something illegal and it caused her a lot of anxiety. She was afraid that other people would believe it was her.

She was probably accurate in her feelings that people would judge her, because that’s what we do, right? As human beings we are very quick to judge others. Sometimes very mindfully and other times we place almost what seems to be a subconscious judgment upon others.

Last week a friend of mine was in the news (although I will not say which news source) and was not depicted in a very positive light.

I cannot say for sure whether or not some, or all, of the accusations against her were true or false. I was not there when the incident occurred. 

I can, however, say that she is a very good friend, hard working and caring, patient and a kind mother. She is being judged by people she does not know, based on the accusations of other human beings, flawed by nature just like the rest of us.

Suddenly, when you are publicly accused of something it doesn’t matter how hard you work to give your children the best life possible, how you listen to your friends’ problems and give good guidance on a solution, or how you are a person of faith who tries to live your life in a way that would make your God proud.

We all make mistakes. We all lose our tempers. Sometimes we “snap” and do things we regret.

Good people shoplift.

Good people get DUI’s.

Good people go to jail.

That sounds strange, doesn’t it? But, just because they are good people does not mean that they are incapable of making bad, sometimes horrible, decisions.

If you watch the news at all you have surely heard a bystander to a crime say:

“ He was such a good kid, I don’t know what happened.”


“She was always a good student and well-liked by her classmates. This is such a shock.”

In our society, we all are only one bad decision from ruining our lives or the lives of others.

One too many drinks at a party.

One text message sent behind the wheel.

One public argument with someone who we have tried to have a civil conversation with several times before.

You do not have to be a bad person to make mistakes.

It is important to remember this when we hear something about another person that we feel is a negative thing.

It is so easy to judge others, and we all do it, but what if that were your mother on the news or your son or daughter in the county report?

It is very difficult not to place judgment on a person that we know and have personal and emotional ties to, let alone a stranger we read about in the paper or see on the evening news.

But, just like the popular commercial for an insurance company illustrates, not everything you read on the Internet (or anywhere else for that matter) is true. And even if it is, we still do not have the whole story.

I encourage my fellow human beings to try to remember this as you go about your day-to-day lives.

Everybody is somebody’s friend, child, co-worker or spouse. And none of us are exempt from being that person everyone is talking about.

Not one of us.