“Do Not Judge Others”…

Charlie G. Curie was the Administrator for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – appointed in 2001, by George W. Bush. Charlie came to Alaska Native villages many times while in his role with the U.S. Government.

He always said, “There is a place in the Community for Everyone”.

I was the President/CEO of the Alaska Native Health Board, a single mother, and a silent child sexual abuse survivor when Charlie and I crossed paths.

Secretary Thompson’s executives were all exalted to these positions in high-level government, I have come to believe, because of their authenticity. They were each driven by personal experiences.

They made choices. And if like me, those choices may have been sparked TO SPITE those initial experiences.

As a young girl, I recall looking around at the behaviors of my peers (and I know more peers that have been sexually abused than those who have not). I made an assessment to myself during those pre-teen years that was, “I will not let this experience control me, so that I give up, and live my life like “this or that”.

It was not a judgement about this person or that person. It was “this behavior or that one”.

But let me be CLEAR – it was also where the usefulness of judging others defined who I wanted to be and how I wanted to live my life. Judging your situation, judging your environment, judging others pain and participation in their own pain, are survival skills.

So it started from a place of analyzing the effects child sexual abuse had on others around me – and how I wanted to find my place in the community. Hence “there is a place in the Community for Everyone”.

Any skill that is useful can be used for good or evil. This is what I have come to learn about where judgement can go wrong.

Manipulating others to make them do what you want.

Manipulating others because you have the ability or influence to make them feel the way you want them to feel.

Manipulating others because you have a need to cut them down to build yourself up.

Manipulating others by using them to get what you want – no matter what the price is as long as you get it.

Lying and cheating.

Trying to retroactively fix your mistakes by continuing to lie and cheat.

MISUSING the power of judgement happens when someone or a group of someone’s violate other people’s sense of judgement about themselves and their place in the world around them.

To me, that is the predator.

A predator is likely created, in part from being a child of some kind of trauma.

But it is our choices going forward. It is whether we choose to take the foot off the gas pedal and off the brake pedal when connecting with other people that separates good and evil.

There is good and evil in each of us. The beautiful thing is embracing our own and keep trying to just, “Do Better.”

Published by Trudy Sobocienski

My blog, "Beyond Leadership" is a creative place to share my personal feelings and thoughts while working in leadership roles for a variety of Alaska Native organizations, both for and not-for profit entities. An incredible leader and mentor of mine once asked while we were in Washington, DC, "What happened to you between the ages of 7-10 that motivated you to serve in a native leadership capacity". I was struck by that poignant thought and as such, include actual entries from my mother and my diaries beginning in the early 1970's. I enjoy sharing these excerpts because it captures the parallels she and I were experiencing throughout life, from two separate worldviews. Hers as a young mother of four and mine as her eldest child. I have never came across a book on leadership that lays bare a leaders personal feelings, thoughts, hopes, fears and dreams they were experiencing. So for me, my goal is two-fold: 1. Share the incredible life my parents created for my siblings and I growing up in remote Alaska; and, 2) Sharing my humanity, through my personal diaries and journals, while serving as the youngest-ever President/CEO for the Alaska Native Health Board. There are passages that will include significant policy issues I was working on throughout my career and travels. There are many more passages that do not. I cannot speak for my mom's passages, because I am reading them as I share them here, with you; with her permission of course.

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