|Sedona, AZ, May 2009|
And you may stumble too
So while you talk about me
Someone else is judging you
How many times have you heard the old adage "Never judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes?" I use this all the time, but I have a big fat fail when it comes to "practice what you preach." What does this saying really mean and is it even possible to live in a world where compassion and understanding always come before judgment? I know I judge, sometimes shamefully. We all do it. The media perpetuates it until we all choke on it. I think being non-judgmental must be the single most difficult act of human benevolence. Judging comes as naturally as breathing and it's an almost impossible habit to break. But maybe we can just give it a shot.
Take a moment to stop and think about how many judgments you make a day. Pick any day. I'll take today. This morning I started off judging a recently elected tea party member who was showcased on the morning news. Because I don't agree with her politics, I was spouting an unsympathetic "told you so" about all of the bad press that came out about her over the weekend. I even tweeted about it - "saw that one coming down Broadway." At work I judged someone for a management choice he made. I would never scream at my staff that way. I judged a photo of someone on facebook for the clothes she was wearing at a work function. That's a little on the skanky scale, don't ya think?
If you think you don't judge, you probably need to take a long, hard look in the mirror. We constantly make judgments based on appearances, words, actions, beliefs, and choices. We even judge a person for judging someone else. Those of us being judged will judge our offenders. "They are so judgmental." Plllleaaase. We are all the pot in that pot and kettle situation.
I think about how I judge and why I judge all the time. This past weekend, I was reminded of this as I watched the pain of some severe judgment unfold. In that moment, I realized it was unlikely there were any people in that room free of judgment even though we told ourselves we were, but what we did have was compassion and caring and a true sense of support.
We judge because of what we are taught and what we have learned from experiences. We judge because of lack of knowledge and because we want to believe that our choices and belief systems are superior to those of others. Judgment is based on ego, but we really do have the capacity to put that aside and look outside of ourselves. If you need any help with this, just watch a child. They are the best little non-judgers (I know, not a word). I am trying really hard to go back to my four-year-old roots and be better at it every day because I never know when it's going to be judgment day for me.