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Don’t Let Anyone’s Criticism or Judgment Define Who You Are— “The Truth Shall Set You Free”

Updated: Jan 22, 2022

Video Credit is Attributed by The National Congressional Voting Caucus for Human Rights Organization — Recorded/Produced 2017

“There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally.” ~Don Miguel Ruiz

Lent C. Carr, II, Speaks at Rockfish Community Candiate’s Meet & Greet Meeting 01/20/2022—

Photo Credit Emmaus Corp. Digital and Production Co. Raeford News Journal’s Report and details of Dr. Lent C. Carr’s Ultimate Dismissal of Hoke County’s Malicious Prosecutorial Charges (PDF & JPEG Versions):

Hoke County District Attorney’s Office Dismissal of All Charges Indicted Prior to Case Going to Trial— Lent Carr Exonerated of ALL False Charges & Allegations Theretofor. (PDF & JPEG Versions):

Carr Dismissal
Download PDF • 71KB

I was a skinny, semi-shy little boy who was attached to my mom’s hips and proud Mama’s boy growing up in the confines of humble beginnings in a place termed Hopkins Project “Guetto.” A place in which crime, death, lack of health care and racial, educational and economic disparities were the norm. But through the strength of my Mother (RIH), Thelma Carr, I was taught to never give up the fight to better your life’s story, and those whom God has placed in your path to uplift. She was my protector and served as a source of unconditional love.

As I left my mom’s side and went off to school, I encountered many new faces that introduced me to criticism and judgment.

Being judged by your physical and socio-economic attributes as a kid, young adult, and then more so as an adult, in a society that constantly strives for physical and elitist perfection, is hard enough, but understanding those judgments as a little boy can be quite the challenge.

At such a young age, I had no way to process the mean words tossed my way, so I built a shell around myself and often wished I could become invisible to avoid hurting. I tried to carry on as if others’ words could not impact me.

What I quickly learned as I went through life is that we all encounter many people along the way who will attempt to tear us down and break our spirit. What I couldn’t realize then is that it’s truly up to us to decide how we allow others to make us feel and whether or not we allow them to shape us into a person we are not.

That little boy in a shell grew older, moving on through middle school, high school, college, and the career world post graduation.

I encountered each day, each year, and each new opportunity with the same feeling of insecurity that formed in that little boy so many years ago.

Even with all of the growth I’d experienced as I went through relationships, graduated college, lived on my own, and accomplished many goals, I somehow still felt like that vulnerable little boy who wished to remain unnoticed and wanted to crawl into a shell to avoid undue and prejudicial judgment.

What makes the feeling worse is that those judgments don’t end when we leave childhood. They are simply just beginning and in some of our cases intensified. We will always encounter critics along our journey through life.

When I began college, I joined practically every activity related to my major. In my personal life, I went on dates— stayed in Church as it seemed 7 days a week, and tried to play the confident boy with a smile.

I still recall my upbringing in Rural America, in a small town called Winterville, North Carolina, where I secured my very first job working from sun-up to sun-down in sweltering heat topping the high 90 degrees temperature ranges 6 days a week. I was still that skinny insecure kid pushing my small frame to the max seeking approval working in The Southern Tobacco Field; priming, suckling, climbing high up in what then was called buck barns and pack houses; then eventually working my way up to trucking tobacco— for those of you familiar with that term. Yet and still I could still hear my Mother‘s voice in my head say: “Chris, keep working harder for it is only you who can define your worth and ultimate destiny through God’s help.” So I kept pushing under the weights of societal, peer, judgmental pressures that seemed ever present in my young life.

To that end, I knew that God had more for me in this thing we call life. Yes, as most young people who have grown up in a culture of naysayers and cynicism, I made many bad choices that even as a humanitarian involved adult now, unscrupulous and of course the ever present judging segments of society attempt to try to enslave my resolve to be the better productive man first and foremost to myself, my God and my Community. The only difference now is that I have through my trials refused to permit anyone to define me after I learned through my Christian upbringing “ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” And the ecclesiastical admonishment to all— “He/She without sin let him/her cast the first stone.” This is when my mind developed into a freedom fighter Of, By and For The People. I had found my true purpose for being summoned to this earth at that crucial day of enlightenment.

video Credit Attributed to “Keeping It 100 Talk Show“ w/Lent C. Carr, II, Host Recorded 2010

Nevertheless, prior to that illumination of self-worth, and advocate for the voiceless as I once was myself. after I graduated from college, I had to go on job interviews and pretend I was self-assured. Once I got the job, I had to give presentations, speak at meetings, and continue to fulfill my role with confidence.

I pushed myself to achieve and continue moving forward, but I never felt truly fulfilled. I still remained insecure and began to question why I felt that way, why I was always stuck in my own head, and why I seemed to carry that shell on my back. But one day I obtained my self awareness answer that would change the trajectory thereof forever.

Ultimately, I realized that I felt insecure because I was carrying around the words and judgments I’d heard at different points in my life as if they were written into the code of my DNA.

I allowed people who held no significance in my life to take from who I am and hinder the person I have come to be.

We have all had someone say something that does not reflect who we truly are, but sometimes we give it so much power that we allow it to define us.

Because we are human, it is not always easy to instantly deflect how certain words make us feel, but we can search within ourselves to recognize when they become detrimental to who we are and how we live our lives.

Have you ever let judgments or criticism from your past hinder who you are in the present? Have you allowed those words to impact what you are truly capable of? Now is the time to take back that power.

Bring Those Feelings to theSurface

It wasn’t until I was twenty-five years old that I could dig deep enough to peel away the layers I had built over the years and be honest with myself. Those layers masked the pain that had followed me wherever I seemed to go.

If we are not honest with ourselves, it’s easier to remain in that shell and continue on as if those feelings don’t exist. We then relinquish our control and convince ourselves that maybe we are that person as we continue on the same path.

Share Your Feelings With Someone Close to You

Oftentimes, we find shame in the criticisms and judgments we’ve faced, so, we keep them to ourselves. After all, they’ve already hindered us enough. Why expose such raw feelings?

Saying it out loud to someone who genuinely cares and supports you can minimize some of the vulnerability you feel from those who have been so quick to judge you.

It can be therapeutic in not only bringing it to the surface, but in sharing it with another person who can be there for you and serve as a support system.

Surround Yourself With the Right People/Eliminate the Wrong Ones

While I did not have a choice to be surrounded by those kids in school, community, and a systemic prejudicial society, I have discovered the power in surrounding myself with positive people who have my best interests at heart.

It’s not always easy to let go of people we form relationships with, but if those relationships enforce the negative feelings we are trying to release ourselves from, they only become counterproductive.

People who truly care about us and deserve to be in our lives will not attempt to bring us down or carry the same judgments the people of our past have carried.

Remind Yourself Who You Are

It’s easy to get so caught up in what others say that we begin to see ourselves in that light. Don’t lose sight of who you truly are and the unique qualities you’ve built within yourself.

As I go about my days, form new relationships, take on new challenges in my career, and civic duties toward my fellow citizens who are hurting more than ever since Covid-19’s invasion, job losses, home foreclosures and other greater disparities—encounter obstacles, and celebrate accomplishments in life, I take the time to remind myself of who I’ve come to be on my own terms, not who other people have deemed me to be.

I find that the more I change my old habits of thinking as that little boy with the shell, the easier it is for me to truly be the person I’ve chosen to be.

It took me a long time, but I was finally able to recognize that the little boy with the shell is not who I am today. He will always be a part of me, but I cannot allow hI’m nor inherently nefarious dissenters to dominate my days or I will not be living up to my full potential.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned on my journey so far, it’s that people can only take from you what you allow. If you allow others to define who you are, you are giving them the power to dictate where your path will lead.

That said; my Fellow Hoke Countians, let’s keep our eye on the Election Ball, and deal with the long-standing out-of-touch and autocracy created issues, priorities, policy proposals and what matters to every citizen of Hoke County— a transparent, accountable, non-autocratic governing body, and effecting an all inclusive change policy for human infrastructure for every Hoke Countian NOW! Not another wasted decade of the same antiquated visions of yesteryear.

Contact The Committee to Elect Lent C. Carr for Hoke County Commissioner 2022 at:





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