Snap Judgments – The Affirmation Spot for Friday October 30, 2009

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Thought: Love and judgment are like matter and antimatter. They cannot occupy the same space without utterly destroying each other.

gavelI had a little epiphany the other day about the way – in our fast-paced, high-pressure world – we make snap judgments about others and how harmful that can be. I was driving along the main street that runs through a local shopping center. This is one of those modern strip shopping centers where the doors to all the shops come out to the street and there is a continuous parking lot stretching for blocks.

While making my way down that street, I always try to be a good citizen and stop to allow people to cross the street back to the parking lot rather than racing to get by them before they beat me to it. There are a couple of dozen shops and this often involves stopping several times on my way down the row.

This day I had stopped four or five times to allow people to cross. People usually smile in appreciation for the small gift of patience.

As I neared my destination at the far end of the shopping center, an older woman appeared from behind a car and took a step to cross. By the time I saw her, I would have had to slam on the brakes to stop. So I slowed and kept going. She shot me an angry look as I passed by.

It occurred to me that she was doing what we all do so often. She made a snap judgment about me based on her immediate experience. The look indicated she thought I was one of those selfish people determined to get where I’m going even if I have to run an old lady down in the process. She didn’t have a frame of reference to know that I had just stopped for five other people or that I would have stopped for her had I seen her in time.

How often do we do this in our lives? Our snap judgments, the pressure of our day, that little twinge of anger right below the surface ready to show itself at the first slight? We often don’t have a frame of reference to judge people the way we do. They might be the best person on the planet having a bad day, a bad moment, or just not seeing us or what we need in time to act.

Judging is easy. If you ever kept track, most of you would find you do it dozens if not hundreds of times a day. Those judging moments add discomfort to your day as your blood pressure and your stress rise. They also put negative vibes out there in the universe because sometimes we give signals, shout, or worse. This is what happens in road rage.

These situations often feed the anger and frustration forward. Her reaction to me could have caused me to say, “Well, I’m not going to stop for anyone because people don’t appreciate it.” Or, I might have maintained my bad mood and snapped at the coffee shop girl when got my order wrong a few moments later.

Let us not judge so much. Let us not help to perpetuate the negative feelings when we feel we’ve been wrongly judged by a stranger. It takes strength and control, but we are capable.

If we could just step back, take a breath, slow down, and recognize that in most cases the other person had no intention of wronging us; we’d find a capacity within us not so quickly judge people. We’ll feel better and the energy we put out to the world will be more positive.

Stay inspired!

Ray

2009 Affirmation

“I am absolutely committed to being the person I came here to be!”

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About Ray Davis

Ray Davis is an author and co-founder of 6 Sense Media. His latest books are the Anunnaki Awakening trilogy - speculative fiction series focusing the issues of humanity's past and future. The series is heavily influenced by the science fiction genre. Book 1 - Revelation - is now available - http://www.AATrilogy.com. Ray has written prolifically on the topics of personal development and human potential. In 2007, Ray founded The Affirmation Spot - a website offering downloadable mp3 motivational tools and affirmations. http://www.theaffirmationspot.com. Ray began studying affirmations and positive thinking after a life-threatening illness at 25. His thirst for self-improvement led him to read the writings of Joseph Campbell, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, and many other luminaries in the fields of mythology and motivation. Over time, he has melded these ideas into his own philosophy on self-development. He has written and used affirmations and other tools throughout that time to improve his own life and has a passion for helping other reach for their goals and dreams. In 2010 he authored an eBook titled The Power to Be You: 417 Original Daily Thoughts for Personal Empowerment. Ray holds a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Secondary Education in Social Studies from University of Kansas. He lives in Louisburg, KS with his wife, April, two grown stepkids, and his black lab, Mia.
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2 Responses to Snap Judgments – The Affirmation Spot for Friday October 30, 2009

  1. Victor says:

    Ray,

    I think everyone suffers from snap judgments based on that initial impression. Quite often I play devil’s advocate and have a debate with a good friend of mine when he sees someone on the street and makes a comment of sorts. I step in for that person for the time being, but when I think about it, I am just as guilty of judging people by their looks or behaviour. I think it will take a much more expanded awareness to get beyond that behaviour.

    Have a great weekend!

    V

  2. Ray Davis says:

    Hey, Victor

    I think we are all guilty of it. My goal in this article was to capture that moment when it happens to try to shine the light of awareness on it.

    I catch myself doing it as well. Feel like have gotten better over the years.

    Ray

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