Monica Lewinsky was a young intern, working in Washington D.C. She must have been so excited when she landed a position in the White House. And then she had direct contact with the President of the United States. Imagine for a moment that YOU are an upcoming young intern with a bright and promising future ahead of you. Imagine being flirted with by one of the most powerful men in the world - a handsome, charming, and charismatic man. And imagine the sense of danger and excitement, the delicious fear of being discovered in an indiscreet rendezvous.
Such is the innocence of a young person coming of age. And then, in an instant, her world came crashing down - forever. Anyone who heard the news during that time could not help but associate her name, Monica Lewinsky, with inappropriate sexual scenes. The media relentlessly focused on this relationship, from the first time that President Bill Clinton blatantly said: "I did not have sex with that woman." Although the president, his wife, Hilary Clinton, and their daughter, Chelsea Clinton, were certainly embarrassed by the public furor, each of them had an entourage of support. The president was seen as a sexy, maybe oversexed, man who had overstepped his professional boundaries. His wife and daughter were viewed as innocent victims of an overly sexual, unfaithful, husband and father.
But Monica Lewinsky had no avenue for personal redemption. Married women viewed her as a jezebel, someone who would pray on a husband for her own satisfaction. Single women forgot about women's liberation and kept quiet. Men, both married and single, viewed her as a sexually loose woman unworthy of respect. So she did the only thing a beautiful, innocent young lady might do. She hid under the covers, suicidal, in the safety of her parents' home. At least she had a good relationship with her mother so she had someone who cared about her and helped her to get through the most devastating and humiliating experience of her life.
Imagine yourself being caught in such a precarious situation. Think about times in your life when you did something inappropriate. And now imagine that it was broadcast throughout the media, on TV, radio, the internet, and everywhere. How might your life be changed forever?
Monica Lewinsky has finally opened up about this life changing event. She was driven by a sense of humanitarian responsibility to make a difference in the lives of other people who are publicly humiliated. What spurred her to action was the suicide of an 18 year old boy, Tyler Clementi, who was videotapted kissing another man. Too humiliated to deal with his personal shame, when this video went global on the web he took his life.
Why are we so cruel in our judgements of others? Any one of us could easily fall into a compromising situation. As a society, we need to embrace kindness, forgiveness and loving each other as ourselves. Isn't that what we are taught in the bible?