WAS listening with tears in my eyes to a powerful talk by Monica Lewinsky! (Snigger! Chuckle! Giggle! Laugh aloud!) I know what images it conjures to your mind; a fallen woman, a slut, whore, home breaker!
But even as you utter such in your mind, even as the world shouted with rage at her, did anyone think of her as a vulnerable twenty-two year old who fell in love with her boss? And the boss, a strikingly handsome, charismatic Clinton, the most powerful man on earth; the President of the United States!
Did anyone think, that for that one terrible slip, her whole life was one of shame? As I heard her speak, I realized how unforgiving we are as a people, not realizing that more than condemnation and reproach what that person who falls so often needs is compassion!
Because, after the said incident, that same one who slipped condemns and chastises himself or herself, with deeper whiplashes than those given by you and me! For many years I was the honorary general secretary of an organization that worked in Indian jails. More than the punishment, the confinement and the loneliness, was the shame the inmates felt for their deeds.
It’s not one death they die, but a million, and the gallows are a relief! But we love to humiliate the fallen. Even as I watched Monica Lewinsky on stage, even as I listened to her very powerful speech, I realized it would be ideal for those who fall, to have some platform, where they can face the world and say, “We fell! Forgive us for our lapse, but now let us carry on!”
I know I draw mention to the Bible in my writing, but it was on these scriptures I was raised, and one scene stands paramount in my mind and that is the righteous Jews bringing a woman found in bed with another man other than her own husband. They bring her to Jesus. They want to stone her to death. “What shall we do with her?” they asked. And Jesus replied, “Who is without sin, may cast the first stone!”
Yes, you people who condemn, castigate and crucify those who have slipped, and you who use that incident to continue stoning the person, if you also have either in your mind, or otherwise done something likewise, then leave your missiles of hurt and humiliation aside and get out!
It is written, that the people walked away, leaving the woman alone, which proves without doubt, that the only reason others have not done what poor Monica did, is just because of the lack of opportunity, or the fear of getting caught! Does it strike home? So leave your stones aside, and stop shaming these Monica’s anymore…!