To Judge or Not to Judge

Have you ever felt judged?

Or, have you ever worried about cancel culture destroying your future due to your opinion?

Many of us understand how poor judgment can ruin a person. Yet, we tend to jump on the bandwagon rather than defend a person who might be guilty but wasn’t proven guilty.

The real question is whether you’re going to join the proverbial lynch mob. To help you decide, I’m going to share with you a test I learned about this week. The T.I.N.O. test helps you determine if you should get involved with judging others or not.

Here are the four steps as shared with me…

T is for Time Consuming

Try to determine how much time this activity rising from judgment will take from your life. We only get 24-hours each day and you have goals and dreams to chase. If your efforts take precious time away from your goals, walk away.

I is for Irrelevant to My Goals

If judging the other person detracts from your goals, it’s not an activity worth engaging in. Some will argue that if the issue holds a significant value within your goals, you should engage.

But if not, don’t get absorbed. Your goals are too precious.

N is for Negative or Energy Draining

Most of us need a lot of positive feedback to keep us moving down the path of our goals. A person who doesn’t get inundated by negativity might enjoy judging others. Be cautious of those judgments that drain you.

When judging slows the progress of your personal goals, it isn’t the right choice.

O is for Outside of My Control/Influence

There is no reason to judge others if it won’t move your goals ahead. If you think judging will help someone to make better decisions, you may have a control problem.

My Views

Years ago, a Hebrew man named Yeshua told a story to give perspective. His story was about a man with a speck in his eye. Another man immediately noticed the speck and pointed it out. He had judged and condemned the man for not having pure eyes.

Yeshua pointed out that the man making the judgment on the impure eyes had a large I-beam hanging out of his own eye. The one judging the other had greater impurities in his life than the man with the speck. When I heard that part of the story, I thought that Yeshua was judging the man with the I-beam hanging out of his eye. But he wasn’t.

Yeshua didn’t point out if the first man was rightly or wrongly judged. Nor did he suggest the second man was accurate or inaccurate in his judgment. He suggested that the guy with the I-beam should deal first with his own issues, and then, help the first man with his.

Yeshua’s story wasn’t about judgment, although he alluded to its foolishness. His story was about us taking care of ourselves first and then helping others.

If we are helping ourselves or helping others, we are helping, not judging.

If we are judging, we are not helping.

You can use the T.I.N.O. method to determine if you should judge or not. As for me, I have no reason to judge others. But you can count on me taking care of my issues first, and then offering my help to you.

Copyright © 2021 by CJ Powers

When Joy Bubbles Over

I’ve had the opportunity to observe numerous people that thrive when they have fun. Their lighthearted soul is playful and filled with imagination. Many times, innovation springs forth from those delightful and well-hearted souls.

We all appreciate their results of tinkering and fooling around in life, as we often benefit from their creations. Most of the tools we use in daily life were created during a fun-filled moment. Even our entertainment was sealed in fun.

So why are there so many who want to bring an end to the creative person’s fun?

I remember visiting a church where everyone had a forlorn look about them. Their countenance displayed hardships and burdens. It was an unpleasant visit. But before I left, I felt compelled to ask the reason for a mood worth lamenting.

The gentleman told me that everyone was filled with joy on the inside, something that no one could take away from them.

I knew he was lying, but he didn’t know that he was lying.

You see, when joy is present it can’t sit idle. It must bubble up and spill out into life. The joyful person always infects those around them with fun, laughter, and warmth. It’s not possible to contain such joy.

Over the past 18-months, many have lived with a fear hanging over them. Any hope mentioned during the previous administration was shot down. Others attempting to bring humor to our absurd cultural changes were silenced by Cancel Culture.

Big tech blatantly closed thousands of accounts that shared words of hope, joy, and humor. They stated it was not factual or that the shared words could harm people. They silenced any who didn’t agree with their fear-based narrative.

And yet, at the local level, creative joy-filled individuals found ways to make their neighbors smile.

It’s time for our leaders to put fun and love, front and center. We need people who will allow their inner joy to bubble up around us and quench our aching hearts.

During my playful moments, I’ve considered creating a streaming show that is all about fun. Sure, there’d be some great insights and take-aways shared, but it would be done in an entertaining manner. I wouldn’t want anyone to leave without a smile.

Since many of you have followed some of my experiences, how about letting me know your thoughts on what this show could be like. I’d love to hear from you and consider any fun idea that pops into your mind.

Together, we can impact those around us and create a new national agenda filled with fun, love, and hope.

Copyright © 2021 by CJ Powers

Dolphin Island—Review

Annabel (Tyler Jade Nixon) and Mitzy (dolphin played by Goombay or Cayla)

This delightful family film is set in a beautiful Caribbean island with great aesthetics. After seeing some of the press materials, I was anticipating a fun story about a young teen girl who battled for the small-town coastal life where she lives versus the life her city dwelling grandparents want for her.

The promotional materials center the story around Annabel, the 14-year-old girl, teaming with her friends to battle her out-of-town grandparents. The available family study guide also references all kinds of heart-warming themes including courage, forgiveness, and faith. But that is not what the film is about.

The film is about Annabel’s fisherman grandfather, Jonah, who overcame alcoholism to properly take care of his granddaughter in the way Annabel’s parents requested before their accident. Thematically the story is about choosing the moral high-ground, which cultivates and drives respect from others.

The final story turned out very different than what the marketing team, or maybe even the director originally thought. In any case, you can image my surprise to learn the promotions did not match the actual story. Thankfully many of the performances overshadowed this mishap.

Jonah (Peter Woodward)

Peter Woodward, who plays Jonah, gave an award-worthy performance. He certainly lived up to the talents gained through his long career. His character’s love interest, Desaray, played by Dionne Lea, also gave a solid performance. While she has more potential than this script allowed her to explore, I’m confident we will see her rise in the actor rankings quickly after a few more films get under her belt.

Tyler Jade Nixon played Annabel. Instead of playing the protagonist as marketing led me to believe, she was clearly the archetype or the Obi-Wan Kenobi of the story. Her character saw to everyone’s emotional needs and fully supported her grandfather to the best of her ability.

Robert Carbunkle, Esq. (Bob Bledsoe)

Bob Bledsoe, most known for his role in Parks and Recreation, played a character who shifted back and forth from being a comedic bubbling fool to a shady lawyer. He brought life to the screen with every appearance and quickly reminded the audience that the film was created for ages 6-12, although the Dove Foundation, who gave their family seal of approval, suggests ages 7-18.

There are other mishaps with this story like the main plot point not starting until 28-minutes into the film. Prior to that a viewer has to be content watching the beautiful scenery cut together like an extended music video with interrupting vignettes. Each segment revealing what a typical day looks like for Jonah, Annabel, and her dolphin friend, Mitzy.

Overall the production team did a good job with its limited budget. Director, Mike Disa, known for his work on shows for younger kids, did a good job trying to make the script work for a more intimate budget. Due to the limitations, the courtroom scene takes place in a conference room. The ocean front conservatory teaming with wildlife is mostly imagined, as it is only revealed through the pier area, a dolphin, and two parrots.

The best part of Dolphin Island for me was its position on morals. The film built a respect for anyone and everyone who chose to live a moral life over a selfish life—a powerful message for the times we live in.

This could have been the film’s greatest achievement, especially if done in a way that kids could emulate the character’s choices. However, most of the morality was played unrealistically, not giving the viewers a real understanding of how to stand up for what is right in their real world.

An example of this disconnect from reality was seen in Bledsoe’s lawyer character making the decision to call the judge and confess his crime at the end of the story. He wasn’t jailed or disbarred. Instead, he was forgiven.

I think the director forgot that forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean erase or forget the crime. Forgiveness believes in payment in full and an opportunity for a second chance. The short scene should’ve just been left out of the story since it didn’t move the story forward, especially since it raised more questions for young viewers than the value of resolving the minor subplot brought to bear.

Frankly, I think if the film was re-edited to get into the story quicker and the promotions were about Jonah and how Annabel fought with him for what was right, this film would get lots of traction. I’d like to hear your opinion on this film. You can find it available for rent and purchase at most of the major digital release outlets.

#DolphinIslandMIN #MomentumInfluencerNetwork

Copyright 2021 by CJ Powers

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hopes that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”