Judging Others

A friend of mine on Facebook posed a question about whether the concern about judging others, a relatively recent human ethic, had any value or whether judging could even be avoided. Here was my reply.

Practically speaking, it’s impossible not to judge things. I used to tick mark the number of times each day I did it and it was many. That process did make me more aware and reflective about it. Our minds seem hard-wired to judge, evaluate, and compare. It’s the way this tendency is so easily manipulated and the ready access to a place to “shout” those judgments that has made us a coarser society.

That said, this is an area we could all work on. I think there is a valuable ethic to be had here. The genesis of that ethic is the dilemma eloquently posed by Jesus. “Let be who is without sin cast the first stone.”

What I’ve noted over time is that hypocrisy and a lack of compassion are often huge components of judgment. That’s what Jesus was saying. Who among you has moral standing to judge someone else?

Tolstoy wrote, “Everyone thinks about changing the world, but no one thinks about changing himself.”

Judgement, especially overt judgment, is often about deflection and dereliction of the one duty we have in this life….to better the mind and the heart we occupy.

Not judging at all may be beyond us. Judging less harshly, with compassion, and an understanding of the places we have fallen short may be the goal to aspire to.

Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.

Ray

Ray Davis is an author, founder of The Affirmation Spot, and co-founder of 6 Sense Media.

His current latest novel is Anunnaki Awakening: Revelation – order your signed copy today at AATrilogy.com – founder of The Affirmation Spot and an advocate for the potential of the human race. He’s life-long history buff and holds a B.S. in History Education. He’s always been fascinated by alternative views of history.

anunnaki_cover_full_colorAnunnaki Awakening: Revelation is turning heads and opening minds. Humanity’s past is checkered, secret, and dangerous. 

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!”