As you judge so you will be judged
We as humans appear to be carrying additional physiological and cognitive baggage of which serves us no purpose. Much like the tonsils which often become infected and are better off surgically removed (yes, I am aware of their minor role in immunity!), our ability to judge our fellow human being is a cognitive trait which we should seriously consider liberating ourselves from. Perhaps in what could be known as a ‘judgementectomy’ we could cut out the nasty, infected cells of the body which serve only to make uneducated, ignorant and unfair assessments of those around us. It is time we all let go of our ability and need to judge.
The reason I adore travel is the inevitable way in which you get to know the story of those you meet. Completely open and honest in a way that can only really be achieved when removed from your normal life, people will often reveal what it is that brought them to this point. To capture a glimpse of the more real and raw side of your fellow man, is to me truly beautiful. And it is these stories that I live for. What has been of surprise is just how many people I meet, in which they have been heavily criticized or judged at some point in their life and it has redefined who they are. The way in which this judgement has stolen their voice and often their identity with it. The way that judgement can render you incapacitated.
Judgement is of personal significance to me having been through my own period of outright persecution some 12 months ago. In a situation I would never have seen coming, I found myself being heavily judged and criticized by people who knew nothing of my journey. These judgements had feelings of hatred and anger attached to them and in literally the blink of an eye I found myself truly hated and this hatred was spreading. Those small minded enough to hate and judge protest of their hatred and it spreads like wildfire. It steals your voice. To feel you have to justify your life to others is one of the most truly eye opening experiences I will ever have. And like those I have met, it has redefined who I am.
“As long as we continue to live as if we are what we do, what we have, and what other people think about us, we will remain filled with judgments, opinions, evaluations, and condemnations. We will remain addicted to putting people and things in their “right” place.” – Henri J.M Nouwen
More hours than I can count have been spent trying to understand why it is that we judge. They way in which we seem to think our opinion on how we would behave in a given situation that we have never been in, is the comparison point of which to compare others actions to. Completely disregarding that each decision we make is based on the culmination of millions of much smaller decisions built by our whole life’s experience and that no two experiences are the same. Why we think we have the right to compare and contrast how we think we would behave in a given situation. And more importantly, why with fill our mind with thoughts of others people’s lives when really we should be focusing on our own.
I personally have made the vow to myself to cease all judgement. To no longer make assumptions based on small pieces of information and more importantly accept that I will never truly understand why anyone makes the decisions for their life that they do. But to trust that they know what is best for their life and to support them in those choices. To fill my mind with thoughts of improving myself and not concerning myself with the choices of others. To be free … of judgement.