“Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
~ Albert Einstein
Judging others is built into our DNA. I’m sure we crawled out of the primordial soup, looked at the slimy amphibian next to us and judged him for his weird lazy eye. That is if you believe in that particular theory of evolution….not that I’m judging creationists….honest….that wouldn’t be very Christian of me, would it?
See, you are most likely judging me right now. Who does she think she is? Does she even have data to back up that last, oddly-constructed sentence? And, while I’m at it, what’s with the over-use of elipses? Pause much?
And, I’m judging you right now for that weird-ass haircut you got. And that shirt. What the hell are you thinking wearing that shirt?
We all do it. Definitely inside our heads and, after a drink or two, outside our heads. Often loudly.
There are a lot of reasons to judge. Much of the time we judge because it simply makes us feel a little better about ourselves and our lives. It’s also why I binge watched “Cheaters” and “The Anna Nicole Smith Show” right after having twins.
But, it’s also a means of discerning what is or is not acceptable to us. We have an innate need to choose people who do not threaten our pre-conceived notions of who we are and our belief systems.
I don’t like myself when I judge people. But, I also have a really hard time just not doing it.
So, rather than shutting down what appears to be a natural human response, maybe there is a way to simply not do it so harshly.
You’ve all heard a great deal about my Mom. But, I tell you , she passed on some of the most amazing advice I have ever gotten. And, she had a wonderful take on judgment that went something like this:
Everyone on earth is in a different phase of their lives. Some are advanced in their overall, spiritual development while others are just beginning to walk. Judging all humans on an even playing field is like expecting a toddler to win the Boston Marathon. It not only makes no sense, it’s a disservice to them and to you.
Don’t assume you are the marathon runner in this analogy….you may still be in diapers so don’t be getting all high and mighty.
But, imagine the opportunities for interesting relationships with people if you just keep that idea in mind. Not only do you open up the possibility of helping another person get on their feet, but you may also benefit from a helping hand now and then.
Life can be a real slog, people. I know I’ll take all the help I can get.
So, next time I start down that path and think or say those petty, shitty judgments, I’m going to attempt to step back a bit and think about it.
I’ll forget to do it more times than I remember, I’m sure. So, I’ll apologize in advance if I forget with any of you.
All that being said, for the love of God, go change that shirt. Really. You look like a lunatic.
“We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only
their own pain and renunciation. It’s one thing to feel that you are on the
right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.”
~ Paulo Coelho