Life is like a party.
Some of the people get out on the dance floor and give it all they've got! Others get on the dance floor and just do a simple two step while they snap their fingers. The rest of the people at the party choose to stand at the bar, or line the perimeter of the dance floor, watching.
The ones on the sidelines are there for a variety of reasons. Some of the side-liners are physically unable to dance. Others are just comfortable there, preferring a laid back approach. They choose to be on the sidelines, and enjoy themselves reclining in lounge chairs or perched on bar stools. Others stay away from the dance floor because they are afraid they won't be good at it. So they never try to dance. As the side-liners watch the dancers, sometimes a strange thing begins to happen. The people who have chosen not to dance - particularly the ones who have opted out because of fear - begin to mock the ones who are dancing. They make fun of their movements, their expressions, their appearance.
This ridicule sometimes causes the dancers to grow self-conscious. They start to lose some of their confidence, and start second guessing themselves. Some may even quit dancing altogether, joining the ranks of the people on the sidelines.
But, the people I love are the ones who keep right on dancing, oblivious to the crowded sidelines. They couldn't care less what anyone on the sidelines is thinking. They're too busy looking for new partners on the dance floor or they're swept up while they're dancing solo. They keep on dancing, moving, swaying, unfazed by the mockery.
People who choose not to get out on the dance floor should never laugh at those who do. Even if they're offbeat or have two left feet. Even if they look a little crazy, or they don't do it the way you think it should be done. At least they're out there dancing. They're on their feet, making moves, swaying sometimes to a rhythm all their own. That takes courage. More courage than it does to stand on the sidelines and laugh or talk $#&!.
I want to show love to the people on life's dance floor. I see you out there grinding, maneuvering, and trying new things. Don't worry about how you look or what people say. Continue to dance like nobody's watching. As long as you're giddy and breathless at the end of it all, you've done great.
And for those on the sidelines - whether by choice or not - be an encourager of the dancers. Or be quiet. Because until you've danced yourself, you can't tell us how it should be done.