The 24 Hour no judgment experiment contest

I challenge you to a 24-hour experiment. Can you not judge yourself or others for just one day? Wear a thick rubber band on your wrist and over a 24-hour period if you have a thought of judgment, snap it! Your experience includes, how someone is driving, someone checking you out too slowly at a register, how someone answered the phone, what someone is wearing, well you get the point?

If you allow yourself one 24-hour day of no judgment, then write to me about your experience. I will pick two winners who will receive a 1/2 hour phone session.
What do you have to lose? The better question is what do you have to gain? This simple experiment, may not be easy because we judge ourselves more than anyone. What would our world be if we exchanged judgment with acceptance? It doesn’t mean we have to agree, but perhaps to learn about our differences.

Please send you experiment of 24 Hour No Judgment to deb@debsheppard.com, and I look forward to hearing about your ah ha’s about this exercise. Contest ends on the 14th of February 2017!
The following true story isn’t about religion or politics; it’s simply about human compassion. It’s not about agreeing or not agreeing with a point of view; it’s about human behavior and how we think of others.

It’s September 17th, 2016 and I’m attending a writing conference called AuthorU. My friend and talented mentor and writer, Judith Briles is hosting the event. The workshop is in Denver Colorado at the Stapleton Renaissance Hotel.

We arrive after 6 PM, and as we drove up to the valet, we notice people swarming like bees. Focusing, on our surroundings we are aware of the secret service, police, along with police dogs diligently, checking every car, person, and suitcase.

The hotel lobby and throughout the first floor men are lined up and dressed in dark suits, a curled wire attached inside their ear and arms draped along the sides of their bodies. It’s easy to recognize that the secret service is filling every inch of the hotel. Now, I’m wondering, should I feel safe or is it time to run?

Carrying my overstuffed suitcase, I walked up to the counter and in a quiet voice asked the women at the desk, “what’s, going on”? These days it’s not a surprise to have another headline of attack on innocent people.

The clerk at the desk, explains that someone famous is staying at the hotel but she wasn’t allowed to say who. Of course, with social media and news at our fingertips, we were able to learn that Vice President Joe Biden was staying at the hotel. He had a speaking engagement at Denver University that evening.

We were surprised that we were placed in a room down the hall on the 12th floor with Vice President Biden. Those of us who attended the conference shared with humor and delight that we as taxpayers were impressed that our government was budgeting a stay at a reasonably priced hotel.

Many of the authors attending the conference were hoping to get a quick glimpse of the Vice President and perhaps hand him their precious book. While passionate writers displayed, they’re hot off the press books would love to have a feather in their cap if they could say they handed the Vice President their book. Unfortunately, the secret service did their jobs well and protected all of us from getting even a quick peek.

Our room had a balcony where we were able to see the motorcade returning from DU and we were able to see when he left the following morning. It was interesting to watch approximately 25 police officers on their motorcycles, the secret service along with a few media personnel traveling in the escorted vans. There was even an ambulance that followed the line of vehicles to ensure that if anything happened to our Vice President, there was an immediate response to his care.

After we had checked in, security guided us to the 10th floor; this was before we were able to enter our room or even the 12th floor. We carried luggage, purses, and computers through this quick set-up of security. It was as if we were at the airport going through the TSA security inspection. The Secret Service wore their bulletproof vest, carried guns and all types of scanning devices.

After we had cleared security, a hotel employee escorted us to the only one of the four elevators capable of traveling past the 10th floor. We shared the floor with a few regular guest, secret service, the media and of course our Vice President. There were names of those traveling with the Vice President on each of the doors and we noticed down at the end of the hall was where “he” was staying.

The reason I’m sharing this experience isn’t that we had an opportunity to have perhaps a peek at Vice President Biden or his Secret Service. But, it was the next morning after the delivery of our breakfast when I opened the baloney slider doors to enjoy the fall Colorado weather and take in the views. What did I see across the street? Protestors!

As I had a little more coffee and a closer look, I realized that these protestors who were parked right where the motorcade had escorted our Vice President the morning before. Now stood in a total of 15 or more, men, women, and children protesting at a Planned Parenthood facility. They were yelling at and “bullying” these young women who were seeking medical care, as is their right.

This experience frustrated me because we have a country where our service men and women fight and die for ALL of us to have “our” freedom. What does this mean? We as the people voted for what the majority believe is fair and just for this country and its nation’s constitution.
We hosted the Vice President on this same street as these women that have the right to decide if they seek prevention from pregnancy, medical attention, education about their health or may have made the challenging decision not to continue a pregnancy.

A women’s health has nothing to do with agreeing with birth control or a termination of a women’s pregnancy. As a country, we have the right to worship in a temple, synagogue, church, on the beach or hiking a 14er. Our laws give us the rights to marry someone of a different race or the same-sex. We have the right to travel, get divorced, marry multiple times, carry a gun and live where we want!

Bottom line, we live in a country that provides each of us to be free! And it should include freedom from those that are ignorant of honoring differences. Allowing the same freedom as those entering a medical facility for their personal health care. I guess freedom of speech includes being cruel to other humans that don’t have the same beliefs.
My father served in the Marines; my father-in-law retired as a Major General in the Air Force, my brother in law retired as an Air Force Colonel. I have had many friends and family members who have served our country, and I’m very proud that they have dedicated years to protect our nation’s constitution.

Why am I upset? The fact that within 24 hours on the same street, people feel it’s okay to bully others because of their differences. Even in our current situation of our Presidential Candidates debates and political campaigns that demonstrate anger and cruelty to those that oppose their beliefs. How can we as a country change our behavior if this is our example of leadership?

I’m not sure where in the bible that God would have told His followers to bully, those that are different. But, I do recall a story where Jesus told those who were throwing stones at a person they believed was a sinner. If I remember correctly, Jesus told them to throw the first stone if they were without sin.

I’m wondering about those who were yelling and pounding on the cars of these young women, are without sin? If they are followers of God, could there be a better way to give their message? Could they find compassion and empathy for those who have walked another path? Did one of them even ask or even want to know the women’s situation?

Until you have compassion, humility, and time to listen to the person you are judging, then what right do you have to curse another human? Over the years, I have been honored to hear the stories of so many people, and I have learned that judgment is not a virtue I embrace. Judgment causes hate, abandonment, wars and even death.

Love is the highest vibration of energy that our souls can attain. When does judgment, being a bully, or shaming another individual have anything to do with love for our fellow human? Love, thy neighbor does not include “only if they are just like you”.

Another thing I found very interesting is the synchronicity of the name of the hotel where this all played out. “The Renaissance.” There are many layers of the meaning, such as beliefs and changes which history shares began in Florence, Italy that came about during the 14th Century.
Renaissance is defined, like a rebirth, humanism, and diplomacy. Greek Philosopher, Protagoras said about Renaissance; “Man is the meaning of all things.” I encourage you to review this period of the Renaissance and see if we have made any changes when it defines our humanism and diplomacy.

I challenge you to a 24-hour experiment. Can you not judge yourself or others for just one day? Wear a thick rubber band on your wrist and over a 24-hour period if you have a thought of judgment, snap it! Your experience includes, how someone is driving, someone checking you out too slowly at a register, how someone answered the phone, what someone is wearing, well you get the point?

If you allow yourself one 24-hour day of no judgment, then write to me about your experience. I will pick two winners who will receive a gift valued at $50.
What do you have to lose? The better question is what do you have to gain? This simple experiment, may not be easy because we judge ourselves more than anyone. What would our world be if we exchanged judgment with acceptance? It doesn’t mean we have to agree, but perhaps to learn about our differences.

Please send you experiment of 24 Hour No Judgment to deb@debsheppard.com, and I look forward to hearing about your ah ha’s about this exercise.