We kind of jump to judging situations. And people. And I believe it’s important to understand how this is fundamentally wrong. Mind you, it’s wrong not because Andrei says it is, nor because someone holding the keys to an absolute truth is making a case for it, but because we start from the premise that we wish to be happy. And judging people takes us very far from that state of happiness, no matter how each of us defines it.
However, if there are people among you who do not wish to be happy, then feel free to ignore the following.
1. Most of the time, judging others begins with a series of assumptions, mainly that the one we are judging is exactly like us. Assuming triggers mistakes. Every single time!
I dare you to think of any action you undertook in the last three days and briefly analyze it. You will see that it can be reduced to an assumption. You assumed something incorrectly, you assumed someone understood something, thought of something, or that they cared, you assumed you were more prepared than you actually were. The alternative to assuming is being prepared to only analyze the facts. And constantly questioning if not somehow, for the thousandth time, there is an assumption in our reasoning that we should challenge.
2. At times, judging others springs from a need to label things. To give us the illusion that we are in control. We divide things between good or bad, right or wrong. But when we consistently make the effort not to judge, we come to understand that things are never good or bad, but that we chose to see them in that one way.
This perspective changes everything. We stop assuming that we know, that we hold an absolute truth, and instead are open to accepting the fact that we, humans, have the right to our own view of the world. We learn to agree to disagree on certain things and to accept others the way they are, which is unique and, therefore, different from us.
3. However, most of the times, when we judge it is not about assuming things, nor about the desire (the need, maybe?) to label them, but about an emotional reaction to the message received from another person. We become emotional, sometimes defensive, because the conversation we were just having somehow touched a soft spot. What we see in the person in front of us is a part of us that we refuse to accept.
So, unconsciously, we put a barrier between us and the other, trying to show that we are not the same. All the while forgetting that if the subject of the matter were indifferent to us, then we wouldn’t have a reason to become emotional. But every time this happens, it means that we care about it more than we think.
To sum it up, judging not only determines suffering in others, but also tells us something about how okay we are with ourselves, with the way we are. Every time we realize that we are judging other people we should ask ourselves if there isn’t something about us that we would want to change. And act accordingly.