We have a tendency to pass judgment on people around us, whether it’s someone we know, are just meeting, or see on TV or social media. We critique and criticize, usually without knowing the person well at all. Why do we do this?
One reason might be- if the subconscious mind’s role is to keep us safe, maybe one of the ways it does that is by convincing us to be wary of others and to keep our distance. Maybe it’s a result of the turbulent societies we live in and the stories we hear of violence, turmoil, hatred and oppression. We instinctively and purposely separate, isolate and distance ourselves.
If we look at things cosmically, we’re all the same species co-existing on a magical ball floating around in space. If we could go so far as to think of ourselves as a human family, then we are brothers and sisters. What would it take to be more kind to each other?
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”
– Wendy Mass
One thing we all share is that we have all experienced pain of some kind. Everyone’s story is different, everyone’s experience is unique, but we’ve all had pain. We couldn’t possibly know by looking at someone, or meeting them, or following them on social media what their story is- so how can we judge? And more importantly, why bother? Doesn’t it feel better to live and let live?
We judge each other on just about everything under the sun- ethnicity, skin color, religion, sexual preference, accent, socio-economic status, job. And even more superficial- body type, clothing, hair. We usually aren’t curious and want to know more about people, we want to criticize them and belittle them, put them down for being different from us, for not meeting our expectations, for doing things differently, for living life differently. And since everyone is struggling with battles we know nothing about, essentially we’re all suffering differently, handling life’s challenges differently, and trying to figure out life differently. We go about creating our lives differently, and that’s a beautiful thing.
What would it take for us to feel like instead of passing judgment, we were choosing to think “we’re all in this together. How can we help each other get where we’re going?” Can we be inspired by each other? Can we empathize with each other, see each other’s pain and transform our judgment into compassion?
Judgment is toxic, it’s often unkind, and the negativity of it brings us down. It’s so destructive to our mental and emotional health. Let’s do better.
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