I was wandering a used bookstore the other day in Miami Beach when I saw a book titled “In the Courtroom of Your Mind”. It dealt with the all too human tendency to constantly judge others. I thought ‘what a great title for a blog’ and took a snapshot to jog my memory. A few minutes later, I was impatiently standing in line to complete a purchase at another store and realized I was working myself into a frenzy because I wanted the clerk to be faster. Hey, I’ve got things to do and places to be! Important things! Important places!
Whoa! I thought to myself! Just as we are ‘punished by our anger not for our anger’ so too is our judging a double edged sword. Judging isolates us, creates barriers and walls, reinforces closed minds. When we live in a world where we are busy condemning and judging others we create a world, at least in our own minds where we too are constantly being condemned and judged by others. Why create such an unnecessary burden? Why ferment such stress?
I used to say to myself: How can I not judge? I see what I see!
Then I realized judging was really the last step of a three step process and I didn’t have to go there if I didn’t so choose. Humans have the power to control and direct the focus of their mind. Observation is simply the first step i.e. I observe someone smoking. The second step is one of evaluation: smoking is unhealthy. The third step is judging: smokers are undisciplined; it is unfair that society will have to pay for their medical care thus a bad person.
Judging others does nothing to make their life better or mine, rather it ratchets up my tension level, increases the stress in my life. No thanks, I’ll pass!
“You can’t judge people and touch their souls at the same time.” – Tama Kievs
“Your judgment of another does not so much define them, as it defines you.” – Proverb
“While you judge me by my outward appearance I am silently doing the same to you, even though there’s a ninety-percent chance that in both cases our assumptions are wrong.” – Richelle E. Goodrich
“The next time you want to withhold your help, or your love, or your support for another for whatever the reason, ask yourself a simple question: do the reasons you want to withhold it reflect more on them or on you? And which reasons do you want defining you forevermore?” ― Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing